Evan Turner’s stock went up some last season when the hapless Sixers played an up-tempo style and essentially just gave him a green light. He was scoring 17.4 points a game, and while not doing it very efficiently (.504 true shooting percentage) this was the best basketball he had played in the NBA.
So Larry Bird took a chance on him being able to bring some of that scoring and shot creation to the Pacers system… but no. Asked to play within a controlled offensive system and come off the bench, Turner withered.
So did his free agency leverage. No team watched him with the Pacers and thought, “We need to add that guy.” Some team is going to take a chance on Turner this summer — not for much money, but they will take a chance. The question is which one?
Maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves. That according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in the Twin Cities.
A source tells 1500espn.com that the Wolves are targeting former Sixers and Pacers shooting guard Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft. He became an unrestricted free agent after the Pacers didn’t extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer.
The Cavaliers also had some interest, but both Cleveland and Minnesota have much bigger things on its mind than Turner right now. Turner is not exactly anyone’s priority, but he is on the radar.
As a minimum or near minimum signing at a position where the team doesn’t need to rely on Turner, he can be a decent gamble.
It’s on Turner now — he has to play hard, accept his role and prove he can be a rotation player in this league. If he wants to keep getting those checks, he needs to show he can play in a system and be more efficient. if not, he’ll be collecting his checks in Europe.