The Philadelphia 76ers have been a pleasant surprise this season. After being predicted by almost everyone to be the worst team in the NBA, the Sixers are one of only three teams in the Eastern Conference to have a record over .500.
Evan Turner has been a big part of the fast start in Philly. The former No. 2 overall pick has averaged 23.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists through nine games. He’s been one of the surprising players on the most surprising team. With that being said, the Sixers will probably look to move him. They haven’t picked up his contract extension; will be looking to gain ping-pong balls, and him sticking around and taking shots from Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten when he isn’t a long-term building block is not ideal.
So, who could do with a player like Evan Turner?
Oklahoma City Thunder
In case you have forgotten – in which case, how? It’s all certain media members (I’m looking at you, Bill Simmons) talk about – the Thunder lost their third ball handler and scorer last year when they traded now superstar James Harden away for a measly return. Trading for Evan Turner gives them a young, ball handler that can run the second-unit along with Reggie Jackson in order to give the Thunder bench that desperately needed scoring punch. All they would have to give up would be a draft pick and a young piece; Philly would even take that Kendrick Perkins contract from OKC.
Dirk Nowitzki is not the player he was 5-10 years ago. He needs some more help around him. Monta Ellis has been surprisingly good for the Mavs, but you can’t help feel they need another piece or two in order to really push for the playoffs. Adding Turner to the fore could really improve their starting lineup. The 35-year old Shawn Marion has been on the decline for a while. Shipping him to Philly, along with a pick, could be a likely scenario. Watch this space.
Ty Lawson needs some more help on the perimeter in Colorado. While Iman Shumpert’s name has been mooted around for a while, perhaps a deal for Evan Turner could be on the cards. It wouldn’t take much to prize him away from Philadelphia, and it could even be a chance to unload some salary in the form of Andre Miller. Him and a pick, and this deal could happen.
I can’t see Turner lasting the season with Philadelphia. He’s an expiring contract and Sam Hinkie will want to try and get some kind of return for him. Where he goes will be an exciting one to watch. Dallas seems like the best fit to me, on reflection. Whatever happens, if Turner continues to play aggressive basketball all season, he will be getting some substantial offers this offseason.