Evan Turner mentioned in more trade talk

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Evan Turner mentioned in more trade talk

NEW YORK -- With the trade deadline just two-and-a-half weeks away, trade rumors have begun to heat up. The speculation this year is that the Sixers could move Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes or Thaddeus Young if the right deal came across general manager Sam Hinkie’s desk. 

All three are the core veteran players on this current roster, but they were each hand picked by different management regimes. 

An article Monday in The Sporting News suggested there is serious push to move Turner, who is in the fourth and final year of his contract.

Should the Sixers make a qualifying offer to Turner he will be a restricted free agent this summer and the team would have the right to match any other offer. 

But that qualifying offer, which is a one-year deal, has a high price tag. The Sixers would have to sign Turner to an $8.7 million qualifying offer for next season and they would be on the hook for that salary if Turner signed the offer sheet.

The organization could choose to not give Turner the qualifying offer, but that makes the former No. 2 overall pick an unrestricted free agent next summer.

These facts could greatly influence the ability to move Turner before the upcoming trade deadline.

Prior to the opening tip at the Barclays Center on Monday, Turner shrugged off the current trade talk just as he has for the past couple seasons.

“I really don’t read the paper,” Turner said. “Whatever occurs is going to occur, so I just focus on the next day. That is the God’s honest truth. Had I been reading the paper, I would be packed for different weather. I would put all my winter clothes away. I bleed Sixers blue.”

He may not read the papers, but clearly Turner had been briefed that the article mentioned the Phoenix Suns as having interest in him. 

The Suns have multiple first-round draft picks in this year's NBA draft and those would interest the Sixers.

Coach Brett Brown is aware of the looming trade deadline and the constant speculation that his roster will look different come Feb. 21, but he does not let that affect how he goes about his job.

“I try to bring my very best effort and coach who is in front of me and go try to win a game tonight and say this is the scouting plan and you have so and so. You just do your job,” Brown said. “That is all I can do and should do.”

Brown does his part, but he is quick to add that his players do their part as well.

“It is incredibly the most bizarre environment given the realities of where we are,” Brown said of his team. “The trade speculation or losing and still they do this everyday -- they get along. They have fantastic attitudes. I feel repetitive saying this, but it is the truth. I enjoy coming to the gym with them.”

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.

After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.

Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.

"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.

"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."

Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below. 

Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon. 

 

NBA power rankings: Sixers can't escape the lower third

NBA power rankings: Sixers can't escape the lower third

With the NBA's glorified exhibition in the rearview mirror, we reenter reality of the remaining NBA season. The Sixers still are looking for suitors for Jahlil Okafor while questions swirl around about the health of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. 

Some claim they are tanking still, and if those people are talking about the recent NBA power rankings then they would be right. 

Games before the All-Star break
Last Monday and Wednesday the Sixers split their two games before the break, beating the Hornets and losing to the Celtics. 

Dario Saric continues to be the Sixers' most productive player in the absence of Embiid. In the short week, he averaged 19 points (a team leader in that category both games) and 11 rebounds. 

T.J. McConnell continues to control the floor at the point, dishing out seven assists against the Hornets and eight against the Celtics. 

An inability to finish has been the story for the Sixers without Embiid. The Sixers led by one at the half against the Hornets and were tied with the Celtics at the midway point. These are good signs, but these guys are far from being contenders in the east. The experts agree. 

What's next
Only two games this week for the 76ers: Friday at home against the Wizards (7 p.m./CSN) and on the road on Sunday to play the Knicks (7:30 p.m./CSN).

What the experts say
ESPN’s Marc Stein had some fun with his rankings this week using tweets and memes to describe a team’s current situation. The Sixers dropped from 20 to 23 in his rankings — not a significant drop but a drop nonetheless. 

He used this one in his evaluation of the Sixers:

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann bumped the Sixers up from 22 to 21 this week. He sees great improvement in Saric’s game stating: “Saric has already shown a lot of improvement and TLC, with his length on the perimeter, could prove to be a great fit next to the other core pieces if he can knock down shots.”

He added a positive thought on the Demarcus Cousins trade and how the Sixers still made out well even though they were not able to ship Okafor to the Pelicans. 

“The Sixers lost a potential trading partner with the DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans, but still came out a winner in the deal, because they can swap first round picks with the Kings this year and own Sacramento's pick (with no protections) in 2019.”

Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes did not move the 76ers from the 21 spot on his list last week. He writes that he is intrigued with this processing team: “Sorry, but I'm never going to stop being delighted by the Sixers finding ways to win.”

He made his prediction for games won by the Sixers if they get Embiid back on the court: “It's hard to know what Simmons might bring, but Embiid's contributions are well understood. If he makes it back and looks healthy, Philly could easily win 30-plus games.”

Finally, Fox Sports’ Andrew Lynch dropped the Sixers from 27 to 28 – yikes! His outlook is very pessimistic as he looks exclusively at the injuries of Embiid and Simmons. He writes that a complete shutdown of Simmons would make sense as the season’s end gets closer by the day.