Portland Trail Blazers Agree To 4-Year, $70 Million Deal With Evan Turner

Apr 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) dribbles against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) dribbles against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Evan Turner cashes in big early in free agency with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sources have reported that Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has struck a huge deal to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers.

That tweet sent shock waves throughout the Twittersphere as many people were surprised not only by the fact that Evan Turner, who started only 12 games for Boston last season and averaged just 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season, received such a massive sum of money but that it was the Trail Blazers handing it out.

Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey finished a close second to R.C. Buford for Executive of the Year last year and with good reason.

With the loss of four starters, including LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, many people felt Portland would be making a run towards the bottom of the standings.

Olshey retooled on the fly making savvy signings in Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis and made deals to acquire Mason Plumlee, Maurice Harkless and Noah Vonleh. The Blazers had the lowest payroll in the league and made the playoffs.

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How Olshey did not walk away with Executive of the Year is still a mystery.

Coming into this offseason armed with an exciting young backcourt of two blossoming stars in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum and plenty of cap space pundits thought the Blazers could be in play for a big signing. This wasn’t what they had in mind.

With the money being thrown around this offseason the overall amount isn’t THAT shocking. Evan Turner is not a bad player. In fact he served quite a useful role in Boston. Turner posted a VORP of 0.8 last season which was good for 145th best in the league.

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The puzzling item is that Portland already had what Turner brings on their roster last season. His name is

Allen Crabbe

. While Turner was 145th in VORP, Crabbe was actually just two spots behind at 0.7.

Crabbe, like Turner, also averaged just better than 10 points per game last season but just turned 24 to Turner’s 27 years of age.

Crabbe also outperforms Turner when it comes to shooting. Turner is only a career 43 percent shooter and barely better than 30 percent from the three point line. Crabbe meanwhile shot nearly 46 percent from the field last year and was better than 39 percent from downtown.

In a “make or miss league,” why not go with the better shooter?

One has to wonder why Portland simply didn’t wait to see how things played out with Crabbe.

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Conflicting reports say he may end up with a deal similar to what they agreed on with Turner for but even if that is the case why not take the younger player who already has shown success for the franchise?

The second thing to take pause with this deal is the length of it. Why offer a large four year contract to a player who is going to be a reserve?

Lillard and McCollum are going to get all the run they can handle and Aminu really had a breakout season last year and deserves his minutes as well.

One has to wonder if the Blazers are going to look back at this contract in three years and wonder why did they lock up Evan Turner for so much and so long?

With a playoff team already perhaps Portland would have done better to pursue Turner or other available vets as they are reportedly doing with Pau Gasol.

A two-year deal such as the offer being reported for Gasol would have been much more palatable.

Perhaps Evan Turner would have held out for a longer term deal or another team would have lavished him with a similar contract but with the option to re-sign Crabbe and the positive vibe coming off of last season Portland could have done better here.

Make no mistake, Evan Turner is a jack of all trades who can help a team win — but he is going to be a reserve and a very handsomely paid one at that.

The real question is that he may put the team in an uncomfortable position when it comes time to re-sign not only McCollum but all the other pieces that made last year’s team work like Aminu, Ed Davis and Mason Plumlee.

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For everything Olshey did so brilliantly in building last year’s team, it doesn’t take but one or two ill-advised moves to put a big roadblock in all that progress.