Despite last week’s trade bringing in Marcus Thornton, Tyler Zeller, and a first-round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics have been rather quiet bringing in free agents from other teams. And for the most part, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Boston isn’t in a very competitive mode right now, and it’s not the most attractive city considering destinations like Houston, Miami, and Los Angeles are also on the radar.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the Celtics could be close to bringing in their first free agent that wasn’t already on their team this past season:
Evan Turner has received interest from Boston and Minnesota, a source told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 14, 2014
Former second overall pick Evan Turner spent last season playing with the Philadelphia 76ers before being sent to the Indiana Pacers at the trade deadline. The 25-year-old forward/guard averaged 14.0 points per game last season, on a .425 shooting percentage.
While the shaky and inconsistent Turner has drawn his fair share of criticism over the past few seasons, mostly regarding if he was worth a second overall pick, he could possibly be a value signing for a team like Boston looking to go in a different direction.
Looking at Boston’s roster as it stands right now, they’re more than set on guards. Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Marcus Thornton, Marcus Smart, the list goes on. Looking at the small forward spot however, the list is a little more spare.
Jeff Green is likely to start this season, but who knows what to expect of anyone playing behind him. James Young, who Boston took 17th overall out of Kentucky, is talented, but raw. Veteran forward Gerald Wallace saw a steep decline in his level of play.
That’s where a guy like Turner could come in and play a valuable role. While he’s not an ideal guy you’d want to bring in as a starter, playing him 15-20 minutes per game behind Green could be worth the contract Boston gives him.
Turner averaged 5.0 rebounds per game in 2013-14, and 6.3 in 2012-13. He’s certainly not an excellent rebounder by any means, but the Celtics ranked 18th in the league in rebounding.
Starting forward Jeff Green only brought down 4.6 rebounds this season, 3.9 the previous year.
Rebounding is a lacking area for Boston, and while Turner won’t be an immediate fix for the situation, but it certainly won’t hurt.
There’s plenty of areas that Turner could work on. He can’t shoot the 3-ball at all (32 percent career shooter) and he isn’t too aggressive on the defensive end.
With guys like Lance Stephenson and Chandler Parsons already being swooped up by Dallas and Charlotte, the “second tier” of guards/forwards behind LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony is pretty much gone. Essentially, Turner sort of steps up to the plate.
Turner’s definitely not a max contract level guy, at all. Something like a two-year, $12 million dollar deal isn’t anywhere out of the question for Turner, and Boston has the salary cap to make a deal as such happen. Boston’s comptetition as of now seems to be Minnesota, and they might be able to strike now and grab Turner, while the Wolves are busy dealing with teams looking to acquire that Kevin Love guy.