Where does Turner fit in the Sixers' future plans?

Where does Turner fit in the Sixers' future plans?
March 9, 2013, 8:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Sixers are 1-9 since the All-Star break with their lone win coming against Golden State, a game in which Evan Turner scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out nine assists. In the nine losses, Turner has shot 34 percent from the floor and averaged 13 points per game.

Those are tough statistics to win with from one of your two key perimeter starters. Turner is not playing shooting guard but is considered one-half of the future perimeter duo, paired alongside Jrue Holiday.

Does that thinking have to change?

With a 23-38 record, only Holiday seems solidified in this team’s future. After Holiday, Thaddeus Young would have the most value on the trading block because of his speed and his consistent play. Young is averaging 15 points, shooting 52 percent from the floor, and he grabbing 7.6 rebounds per contest.

It's not that the Sixers don’t want to keep Young in the fold, but they may not have a choice in an effort to start the rebuilding process this summer.

As for Turner, the Sixers exercised their fourth-year option on him earlier this season, keeping him around for the final year of his rookie contract and paying $6.68 million in 2013-14.

At the start of this current season, Holiday’s fourth, the team and All-Star point guard came to terms on a contract extension. If the Sixers were to match Turner's $8.72 million after next season, they would make him a restricted free agent, giving the them the right to match any offer sheet tendered his way.

They can also negotiate with Turner as they did Holiday, but given his up and down performances, what the Sixers are willing to invest and what Turner, a former No. 2 overall pick, thinks he is worth will likely be significant worlds apart.

In his rookie year, Turner averaged 7.2 points and four rebounds coming off the bench, playing 23 minutes per game. His role increased his sophomore season, eventually earning him a spot in the starting lineup. He averaged 9.4 points and six rebounds playing 27 minutes.

He now averages 36 minutes and puts up 14 points and seven rebounds. He will also get you 4.5 assists. Turner’s numbers aren’t far off what Andre Iguodala is doing in Denver this season, except for one thing -- defense. Turner, in physique and nature, is nowhere near the athlete Iguodala is, and becoming a lockdown defender is not in the cards for him either.

Turner’s constant complaint in his first two years was that he didn’t get enough minutes to show who he really can be. He has graduated to saying he needs the ball in his hands more to be all he can be.

Maybe he is destined to be average?

It has not been a good year for the franchise, not on the court nor with the moves they made off of it.

Andrew Bynum won’t wear a Sixers uniform this year. Nikola Vucevic is wearing an Orlando Magic jersey quite well and the Sixers will experience his success firsthand Sunday when they face the Magic at 6 p.m. Iguodala, meanwhile, has helped Denver to a 41-22 record.

Making the right moves moving forward becomes more difficult because of the scrutiny and fear that he who isn’t working out in a Sixers uniform might pan out quite nicely somewhere else.

Building a competitive roster requires a little luck, patience and strong talent evaluation skills from a collective group that agrees on a plan and sticks to it.

It would appear the Sixers are moving on to Plan B, which has yet to be revealed.

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