Evan Turner

Report: Philadelphia testing market for Evan Turner


The idea was to pair Evan Turner on the wing with Jrue Holiday at the point, then put Andrew Bynum in the paint and suddenly you have the beginnings of a pretty good team in the East.

And maybe that still works out, we have yet to see Andrew Bynum on the court and how that impacts all things Philadelphia.

But in his third season Turner has turned out to be a nice but not franchise foundation kind of guy. Not what was hoped for with the No. 2 overall pick. He’s a good playmaker, his three point shooting is above 40 percent this season, he’s had some big games, but in general he’s solid but not spectacular.

So the Sixers are testing his market value, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Sixers, sources say, are open to a shakeup as they continue to wait for the return of Andrew Bynum to give All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday some badly needed help. And I’m told Philly, as such, is shopping (or at least making calls to gauge the value of) swingman Evan Turner.

I think this is more about gauging value than it is anything else. And frankly, teams test the market value of pretty much every player but the untouchables over the course of a year.

Of course, if a deal they loved came their way they’d move, but more likely this is just some long-term thinking. You can’t judge what kind of team the Sixers will be with Bynum until they actually have Bynum playing, but it is good to know your options.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.