Slumping Turner brushes off trade talk

Slumping Turner brushes off trade talk
February 9, 2013, 9:00 pm
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It’s getting to be that time of year. With the Feb. 21 trade deadline approaching, the rumors fly fast and furiously.

With the Sixers, general manager Tony DiLeo has been checking in with teams around the league but doesn’t expect there to be too much action before the deadline.

“We’re talking to every team in the league and if there is something we think that will improve the team, and not just in the short-term, we’ll see what we can do,” DiLeo said last week. “We’re looking to build.”

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the talk surrounding the Sixers. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Sixers have been shopping third-year guard Evan Turner or, at the very least, attempting to gauge the trade value of the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When asked about the trade talk, Turner simply shrugged it off, saying it was something he neither could control nor had spent much time contemplating. As Turner explains it, the best is yet to come.

“I’m not a GM, so I really don’t know [my trade value],” Turner said. “I think it’s all about what our team needs, and that’s it. Whatever. I think that the best is yet to come with me in general, wherever it occurs.”

Turner is playing out his first NBA contract, which expires after the 2013-14 season. He earned $5.3 million in salary this season and is due to get $6.7 in the final year of his deal. The Sixers will have until the night of the first game of next season to sign him to an extension. If the team fails to do so, Turner could become a restricted free agent.

“It’s not my choice to be traded or not, you know?” Turner said. “So if it happens, it happens. What I want doesn’t matter. If it did, life would be way different.”

Then again, what else could he say? After all, Turner is in the midst of a slump of slumps. He has scored just 20 points in the last five games headed into Saturday’s game against Charlotte, including two points in the 88-69 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

In that one, Turner shot 1 for 10 with four turnovers. On the plus side, Turner grabbed nine rebounds, but he has not made a three-pointer since Jan. 26 and he has not attempted a foul shot in the last two games.

Over the last four games, Turner has attempted just four foul shots while shooting 9 for 36 (25 percent) from the field.

So excuse Turner if he has other things on his mind aside from things he can’t control. For now, Turner is trying to get his game back on track.

“I’m always going to rebound and I’m always going to try and play defense every single night. That’s a given every single night and I think I can do that at a high level,” Turner explained. “But the way it is these days I’m judged a lot on my shooting and if you want to bounce back and forth between what I am and a bust or whatever just to keep the conversation going. But all negativity gets thrown out the window along with everything else.”