The Indiana Pacers could have kept Evan Turner for $8.7 million a year but chose not to, they did not extend a qualifying offer to him and making him an unrestricted free agent.
Turner, the 2010 No. 2 pick, got nibbles but was not one of the big players in free agency and ended up signing with Boston for a portion of their mid-level exception on a two-year deal.
Turner averaged 17.4 points a game for a Sixers team that needed someone to take shots. If the Sixers hadn’t traded him, Turner’s agent David Falk spun that Turner could have gotten an eight figure contract, speaking to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
“I think he was probably the most undervalued free agent on the market. Evan was in a dramatically different situation the day before the deadline than he was when he finished the year. He didn’t get a lot of playing time in Indiana unfortunately…
“Had Evan stayed in Philly with those kind of numbers, more than likely he would have made in excess of $10 million a year,” he said. “So we obviously didn’t want to lock him into a long-term kind of a deal, and I think, likewise, the Celtics want to see. They know Evan was the national Player of the Year (in 2009-10). They know that over the last two years he’s averaged 14, 6 and 4 (13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists), which are pretty good numbers. So I think this is an opportunity for him to re-establish his value in a new environment.
Ten million a year? Um… no.
That’s what any good agent should spin, but that’s not how things would have worked out. If he had not been traded Turner likely would have made more than he ultimately was offered because some GM would have been more inclined to give him a shot, but a lot of teams feared that Turner’s numbers in Philly were system related.
Turner averaged 17.4 a game in Philly last season but he didn’t do it efficiently, taking 58.5 percent of his shots from the midrange and with a true shooting percentage below the league average at .504. Basically he’s a volume shooter who lives and dies by a shot teams are trying to take fewer of.
Falk is right this is a reclamation project — Turner has got the chance in Boston to show he can score within a system (here is a good breakdown of Turner’s game). Turner does some things well, he plays a smart game and is a good rebounder for his position, but he’s got to become a more efficient scorer and be able to consistently hit threes somewhere on the court other than the left corner.
Do that and we can talk about how much Turner gets paid in 2016.