The Sixers' three biggest preseason storylines involve Lavoy Allen missing practice, their future franchise centerpiece who probably won't play at all (which no one minds) and the creation of Team Whop.
1. There's really, truly, sadly, but sort of gloriously, very little of note to report.
2. And even the relevant contract talk isn't happening.
So we'll dive into it here.
The Sixers have until Oct. 31 -- that's one week -- to extend Evan Turner and exercise team-options on Arnett Moultrie, Tony Wroten and Royce White for the 2014-15 season (next year).
White, Molutrie and Wroten would all become unrestricted free agents at season's end if not retained within the next week. If the Sixers choose to exercise their options, they'll all continue the normal course of their rookie deals. A few small notes on each before we get into the real reason we're discussing this (Turner):
- Moultrie: The Sixers traded a future first-round pick to draft Moultrie 27th overall in 2012 after taking Moe Markless with their own pick. Moultrie spent his rookie season rehabbing from an ankle injury, then not playing, then not playing because he was overweight, and then finally he played a little. He's now out until some time after the new year with another ankle injury. He's due to make $1.1 million next year if kept, which is basically nothing on a team full of guys making basically nothing. Should the Sixers fail to make the playoffs in each of the next two seasons, the future first-rounder owed to Miami becomes two second-rounders. However it works out for the Sixers, this was a smart trade by the Heat, who turned a pick they couldn't afford into a future asset.
- Wroten: Quiet offseason addition from Memphis acquired in exchange for enough cash to keep Zach Randolph's snack machine stocked through December. Former Pac-12 freshman of the year. Upside. Will contribute this season.
- White: All reports are that White was acquired because the Sixers wanted a Turkish guy named Furkan Aldemir, and they knew they could get out of White's salary. We'll see.
Now, to the real point ...
AU did a nice job a couple weeks back looking at Turner's game and how it may or may not fit what Brett Brown and Sam Hinkie are trying to do. That's the basketball side of things. As for the money, the Sixers have the following options:
1. Extend Evan Turner by Oct. 31
This is what they did with Jrue Holiday last year after the home opener, giving him a four-year, $44 million deal. Tyreke Evans, the No. 4 pick in the 2009 draft, was not extended by the Kings last season, but was traded to New Orleans this summer, and signed Holiday's exact same deal: four years, $44 million. Derrick Favors -- who went No. 3 in Turner's draft and was one of the Sixers' options in the pu-pu platter that followed John Wall -- just signed a four-year, $49 million extension with the Jazz last week. DeMarcus Cousins, No. 4 in the platter, just got a (potentially disastrous) four-year, $62 million commitment. Larry Sanders, who many casual basketball fans have never even heard of, managed to secure himself ... you guessed it, four years, $44 million.
You may see a pattern here. Those guys -- two of whom were picked directly after Turner -- are all making upwards of $11 million per, and probably aren't getting their teams any closer to a title for that amount of cash. Turner wouldn't either.
Now, take a look at Jrue vs. Evan in their third NBA season. These are Evan's numbers from last year and Jrue's from the year before his extension:
- Turner: 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 41.9 FG, 36.5 3FG
- Holiday: 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 43.1 FG, 36.8 3FG
The likely scenario here is that Hinkie and the Sixers have no intention of paying Turner what he would ask for right now, and that Turner and his agent, David Falk, will use the 2013-14 season -- during which Turner could be a "good stats on a bad team" guy -- to boost his value for next summer.
Asked about a possible extension before the deadline, Turner admitted as recently as last week that there has been no contact between the Sixers and Falk. ProBasketballTalk named a post "Evan Turner isn’t worrying about contract extension he won’t get."
All of this assumes Hinkie and Co. have any interest in him at all long-term. And that's a bit of a leap when you look at Turner's advanced metrics -- or even his shot chart.
2. Make Turner a qualifying offer after the season
Should they opt not to extend him, the Sixers will have until June 30 to make Turner an $8.7 million qualifying offer after the season ends. A qualifying offer makes Turner a restricted free agent, meaning the Sixers would have the right match any deal he's offered by another club, or let him walk.
3. Don't offer at all
And then Turner hits the open market next season unrestricted, likely ending his tenure with the Sixers.
A whole lot can change between now and June 30, but the clock on Evan's future with the Sixers is currently counting down to next Thursday.
The Sixers open the season next Wednesday at home against the Miami Heat.