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.”