Evan Turner not worried about contract situation


Evan Turner not worried about contract situation

Last year, when Jrue Holiday got a contract extension right before the deadline on opening night, it was a load off the point guard’s mind. With no contract talks to worry about, Holiday went out and put together a first half of the season worthy of an All-Star berth.

This year, it’s Evan Turner’s turn to wait on a contract extension. Heading into the last season of his rookie contract, the Sixers have until midnight on Oct. 30 to sign Turner to an extension.

If they do not sign him, Turner can become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

So with the deadline quickly approaching, Turner says there really isn’t too much negotiating going on between the Sixers and his agent David Falk. At least there are not any talks as far as he knows.

“There’s nothing really to talk about,” Turner said after Monday’s exhibition loss to the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center (see Instant Replay).

Holiday was one of the bigger names to get an extension at the deadline last year. However, players like Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings did not get extensions and used the fact to motivate them throughout the season.

And then they signed with new teams during the offseason.

However, Turner knows the circumstances have changed with the Sixers since he joined the team for the 2010-11 season. During his first three years in the league, Turner and the Sixers were focused on going deep into the playoffs.

That’s not the case this season. Either way, Turner isn’t upset or worried. If he gets an extension, great. If not, oh well.

“I’m not upset about it,” Turner said. “I know what type of player I’m going to be and I know who I am and I know what I’ve done. Obviously, we have a different situation. We switched GMs and we switched which direction we’re going, but I’m not going to sit here and be upset. I’m going to get money -- whether I get it now or later, I’ve been blessed to be financially stable.”

Plus, it really isn’t about the money. Turner understands that basketball careers don’t last too long and if he can get in a position to win in the playoffs, that’s the goal.

“What I think is kind of funny is when I look around and see what’s going on, that’s what I laugh about,” Turner said. “I think it’s going to be something good in the bigger picture. If I focus on winning, then everything will be all right.

Turner led the Sixers in scoring (23 points), rebounds (five) and assists (four) in the loss to the Nets on Monday. In four exhibition games, Turner leads the Sixers with 19.8 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting from the floor.

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

CAMDEN, N.J. — Jahlil Okafor has been patient with his right knee. He was disciplined with restrictions and recovery during the preseason, recognizing the goal of being ready for opening night. 

At the same time, once he got back on the court he wanted more. Okafor played eight minutes Friday against the Heat, his first game since Feb. 28 before undergoing surgery to repair a right meniscus tear. 

“I don’t think I’m going to do eight again,” Okafor said Sunday. “They kind of heard me complain about that a lot. I think it’ll definitely be more than eight, but it won’t be much more.” 

Okafor has been limited since reaggravating his knee during the final day of training camp. He practiced “to tolerance” on Sunday, according to the Sixers. Okafor did not participate in the team scrimmage and worked out individually with assistant coach/head of strength and conditioning Todd Wright. 

The second-year big man did not feel soreness on Saturday following the game. On Sunday, he felt “kind of stiff” during practice. Brett Brown has been watching Okafor’s movement closely. While Okafor considered it to be “good,” Brown was a tougher critic. 

“I think he looked OK,” Brown said. “He didn’t look great to me today. I’ll give him a B-minus … It’s always how do you move? East, west, north, south, how do you move?” 

Okafor scored four points, one rebound, one assist, one block and one turnover in Miami. He focused on his defense during the game. When he subbed out, he checked in with Elton Brand on the bench to receive feedback from the now-retired veteran. Okafor plans to continue to tap into him for advice throughout the season. 

With opening night three days away, Okafor still plans to be on the floor for it.

“I am optimistic about it,” he said. “I should be ready to go.” 

Robert Covington sprained his right ankle in Friday’s game and did not practice Sunday. Brown anticipates Covington, who has been starting at small forward, also will be ready to go Wednesday. 

“I do (expect him to play),” Brown said. “But we won’t know that for sure yet.” 

Sixers waive retired Elton Brand
The Sixers waived Brand on Sunday, making his retirement official. Brand announced his intentions to walk away from the game Thursday. The Sixers' request of waivers was a procedural step. The roster currently stands at 19. 

“It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege to play this game, the game that I love, and I’m certainly going to miss it,” Brand said last week (see story). “But it’s definitely time now.” 

Brand celebrated his career with his teammates at Komodo in Miami on Thursday night ahead of their preseason finale against the Heat. 

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.