According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Philly is gauging league-wide interest in the third-year swingman:
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.
This time of year, every team in the NBA is doing its due diligence. Knowing the value of each of your trade assets isn’t so much a necessity, but it is a commonality of the business. For a team like the Sixers, still waiting for their franchise cornerstone to suit up, it’s hardly shocking to hear anyone’s—save for Jrue Holiday’s—name end up in rumors.
That said, Philadelphia needs to hold on to Turner. He’s too valuable to their future to sell short, or sell at all.
Presntly, Turner is averaging 13.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He’s really picked up his offensive game and he remains a stout defender. In fact, he’s currently holding opposing shooting guards and small forwards to a combined PER of 12 per 48 minutes, well below the league average of 15.
One of the biggest knocks on Turner has always been his shooting, and while his 43.1 percent shooting from the floor isn’t going to turn any heads, his 39.1 percent clip from deep will. His 6.7 rebounds a night are also second on the team and the Sixers are both scoring more while allowing fewer points with him on the floor.
To some, Turner might seem like versatile overkill. The Sixers have a near carbon-copy of his skill-set in Thaddeus Young already and Jrue Holiday’s emergence has opened the door for the club to deal one their other facilitators in Turner. Still, I’m of the mind you can’t trade Turner. Not right now at least.
Philadelphia still doesn’t know what it has in this roster. If Bynum ever makes his way to the hardwood, he could push the Sixers past the brink of contention. And if he does, Turner’s new-found outside prowess and ability to run the pick-and-roll will be of great value alongside the Sixers’ tower.
Of course, Bynum’s acquisition could continue to blow up in the team’s face. He could wind up missing the whole season and Philadelphia could opt to part ways with him, at which point they’d still be left with Turner. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
Turner has star-esque potential. While his talents may not be conducive or rather, are overkill without Bynum, the Sixers really have nothing to lose by letting it ride for the rest of the season. If Bynum doesn’t return, Philly can always explore deals for Turner over the offseason. Interest is bound to be high after the year he is having.
Right now, though, the Sixers can’t afford to make a blockbuster-sized move if it includes moving one of their most vital cogs. I understand Philadelphia is open for a change, but it shouldn’t make too major a change without knowing what it actually has in its current personnel and what its potential is. Until Bynum returns, that’s something this faction just doesn’t know.
Which should make Turner borderline untouchable at the moment.
Dan Favale is an avid basketball analyst and firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His work can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.