Evan Turner mentioned in more trade talk


Evan Turner mentioned in more trade talk

NEW YORK -- With the trade deadline just two-and-a-half weeks away, trade rumors have begun to heat up. The speculation this year is that the Sixers could move Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes or Thaddeus Young if the right deal came across general manager Sam Hinkie’s desk. 

All three are the core veteran players on this current roster, but they were each hand picked by different management regimes. 

An article Monday in The Sporting News suggested there is serious push to move Turner, who is in the fourth and final year of his contract.

Should the Sixers make a qualifying offer to Turner he will be a restricted free agent this summer and the team would have the right to match any other offer. 

But that qualifying offer, which is a one-year deal, has a high price tag. The Sixers would have to sign Turner to an $8.7 million qualifying offer for next season and they would be on the hook for that salary if Turner signed the offer sheet.

The organization could choose to not give Turner the qualifying offer, but that makes the former No. 2 overall pick an unrestricted free agent next summer.

These facts could greatly influence the ability to move Turner before the upcoming trade deadline.

Prior to the opening tip at the Barclays Center on Monday, Turner shrugged off the current trade talk just as he has for the past couple seasons.

“I really don’t read the paper,” Turner said. “Whatever occurs is going to occur, so I just focus on the next day. That is the God’s honest truth. Had I been reading the paper, I would be packed for different weather. I would put all my winter clothes away. I bleed Sixers blue.”

He may not read the papers, but clearly Turner had been briefed that the article mentioned the Phoenix Suns as having interest in him. 

The Suns have multiple first-round draft picks in this year's NBA draft and those would interest the Sixers.

Coach Brett Brown is aware of the looming trade deadline and the constant speculation that his roster will look different come Feb. 21, but he does not let that affect how he goes about his job.

“I try to bring my very best effort and coach who is in front of me and go try to win a game tonight and say this is the scouting plan and you have so and so. You just do your job,” Brown said. “That is all I can do and should do.”

Brown does his part, but he is quick to add that his players do their part as well.

“It is incredibly the most bizarre environment given the realities of where we are,” Brown said of his team. “The trade speculation or losing and still they do this everyday -- they get along. They have fantastic attitudes. I feel repetitive saying this, but it is the truth. I enjoy coming to the gym with them.”

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”

Sixers players 'thrown off' by anthem ordeal, figuring out how to respond

Sixers players 'thrown off' by anthem ordeal, figuring out how to respond

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers held a team meeting on Thursday to address the situation surrounding the national anthem performance on opening night. 

Sevyn Streeter was slated to sing the anthem Wednesday. She said she was replaced that night for wearing a shirt that said "We Matter.” On Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo brought in a representative from the organization to meet with the team for around 40 minutes. 

“I think right now everybody’s learning what’s gone on, trying to gather information,” Brett Brown, who heard of the news Thursday morning, said. “Clearly our players are concerned and we hear them. We’re with them. I’m with them. I think how it’s handled going forward, how we share an inclusive sort of decision on how we deal with this moving forward will be discussed later. But right now it has been brought to the players’ attention and my attention.”

CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance.

Brown was asked by a reporter if he would like amends to be made to Streeter.

“I think all that is on the table,” Brown said. “I think how we handle it as a group is going to be thoroughly discussed. We understand the situation and we respect the social issue involved. We completely get it. As a group, we will try to find a way to deal with this.”

The team is considering numerous options, Nik Stauskas said. He recounted there was a sense of disappointment among the players that Streeter was not able to sing. 

“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” he said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”

Robert Covington said many of the players were “kind of thrown off” when finding out what transpired. 

“Collectively, we talked about it, everybody expressed their emotions about it,” Covington said. “We know that we want to take steps about it. We just don’t know exactly what steps we want to take. We talked about a lot of different things. That’s one thing that, as a team, we’re very aware of now that the whole incident’s happened. It’s not something we’re going to look over. It’s just a matter of time.”

The Sixers have not set a timeline of when they will decide on a next step. Their next game is Saturday afternoon at home against the Hawks.