WASHINGTON -- When the clock struck midnight, closing out the month of October, Evan Turner's future became that of a free agent.
The Sixers did not extend Turner's rookie contract before Thursday night's midnight deadline.
“There was nothing to talk about,” Turner said following the Sixers' shootaround at the Verizon Center on Friday morning. “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.”
For now, Turner is committed to just getting better as a player.
“Things will work itself out,” Turner assured. “I am not too enthralled with the whole money thing. I have been blessed enough and whatever occurs, occurs. I just want to keep getting better.”
And his coach, Brett Brown, is committed to helping Turner do so.
“He is a character person and we’ve talked openly about this long ago,” Brown said. “It is about him getting better. The management and front office are going to do what they are going to do and I am with him. We are coaching him to make him better.
“I really respect and enjoy his company and him as a person and how he has handled the whole situation,” Brown continued. “He’s a pro. As harsh as it may seem on the outside, internally for he and I, it’s easy. I see it real clearly. I like coaching Evan Turner, and I am happy to see him continue to grow.”
WIth Turner in the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, the Sixers now have until June 30 -- following the completion of the NBA Finals -- to offer the former No. 2 pick a qualifying offer worth $8.7 million. Each player's qualifying offer is based on a percentage raise over their fourth-year salary.
In the event the Sixers extend Turner his qualifying offer at season's end, he will become a restricted free agent, allowing the Sixers to match any offer from another team should they so choose. In the event they do not extend him a qualifying offer, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
The team could also attempt a sign-and-trade following the season or an outright trade during the season.
Many believe Turner is not in the future plans of the Sixers, who are rebuilding and are still a couple years away from competing for a playoff spot. Why invest significant money when developing younger players can be more cost-efficient?
On the other hand, letting the second overall pick walk away and receiving nothing for him seems ludicrous. Of all their options, moving Turner at some point seems likely and best for both sides.
Separately, the Sixers did exercise team-options on second-year players Tony Wroten and Arnett Moultrie for the 2014-15 season.
Moultrie, the 27th pick in the 2012 draft, will make $1.1 million in the third year of his rookie-scale contract. Wroten, who was selected two picks before Moultrie, will get $1.2 million.