Sixers Remain Uncommitted to Turner’s Future
Coming into the season, it was clear that an aura of change had permeated the Sixers’ locker room. That aura appears set to stay for awhile as Evan Turner could be the next familiar Sixer to leave Philadelphia.
Thursday at midnight was the NBA’s deadline to extend player contracts. Turner, who is now playing in the fourth year of his rookie contract was not extended by the Sixers which means that he will enter Free Agency for the first time in his career.
The Sixers have until June 30th to make Turner a qualifying offer that will make him a restricted free agent, giving the team the right to match any offer. That qualifying offer will total $8.7 million if made. That total, or anything more, may prove too costly for a team that is poised to develop young talent and not to compete for at least a few seasons.
Turner expressed that there were no discussions with the Sixers about extending the contract.
“There was no discussion. It kind of went both ways. You kind of didn’t know what was going to go on. At the same time, I didn’t expect anything because Sam Hinkie is not my GM. I didn’t come up with Hinkie, and he has his own plan for stuff.” -Evan Turner
This season will be an important one for Turner’s future. It is his chance to prove his value in the NBA. Turner has always seemed to feel that he was not given the opportunities early with the Sixers that were necessary for him to develop. He took some steps forward last season, and with Jrue Holiday now in New Orleans, Turner is the Sixers most talented player.
He displayed that talent in the Sixers’ stunning season debut against the Miami Heat. The former Buckeye led the Sixers with 26 points on 10-19 shooting. He also knocked down 6-6 free throws, grabbed four rebounds, dished out five assists and had a steal in a 114-110 Sixers win.
Turner backed up that performance with another stellar game as he scored 23 points last night to help the Sixers defeat the Washington Wizards for their second win of the season. The team is off to a surprising 2-0 start and Turner has a lot to do with that.
His performance is making it hard to definitely say that Turner should not be a part of the Sixers future plans. However, with the team’s mindset appearing to be future-centric, keeping around a player like Turner may lead to a few more victories than what would be ideal for a team looking to get the best draft pick possible.
Sixers coach Brett Brown has expressed that the team is committed to doing everything they can to develop Turner and make him better and the early returns look promising. However, the decision by the team seems to be evidence that the team may be making Turner better to ship him out soon for more future-friendly assets.
- Sixers vs. Heat: What to Look for on Opening Night (thewoodercooler.com)
- 2013-14 NBA GM Survey Points to Sixers’ Future (thewoodercooler.com)