Evan Turner not worried about contract situation

slideshow-evan-turner-ap.jpg

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.

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."