Everyone expected freshman Myles Turner to declare for the NBA draft, and when Texas fired Rick Barnes, it appeared certain.
Turner followed through, stating his intentions on YouTube.
Though opinions are divided on him, Turner should go in the lottery – maybe even in the top five. He’ll have a hard time cracking the Jahlil Okafor/Karl-Anthony Towns/D’Angelo Russell/Emmanuel Mudiay group, but there’s no good reason Turner couldn’t lead the next tier.
The 7-footer has excellent touch. He just doesn’t always know how to get himself in good position to shoot. Turner protects the rim well, and he’s a plus rebounder. But his awkward running is concerning – both for the injury risk and what it says about his athleticism.
Turner is also young, having just turned 19 last week. Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson and Devin Booker are the only younger players in the DraftExpress top 25. That points favorably toward Turner’s upside.
Barnes did a poor job with Turner (and more generally, the Longhorns) this season. But Turner should develop well in a better environment. Jumping to the NBA is his not only his ticket to an immediate payday, it’s probably his best chance to develop. If the age minimum hadn’t been raised, and Turner – a highly touted recruit – had jumped to the NBA out of high school, he’d probably be further along.
The most questionable thing about Turner: ending that YouTube video with his reaction to opening the NCAA tournament with Butler, a game Texas lost. That’s the lasting image he wanted to portray?
If NBA teams can look past that, Turner should be in good shape.