Of all the players the Philadelphia 76ers are trying to trade, Evan Turner is picking up the most interest, as the San Antonio Spurs and the Charlotte Bobcats seem to be the two teams more serious than anyone with giving up what the Sixers want for the player: A first round pick, and maybe more.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Spurs and Bobcats are the two teams showing the most interest in the player but it’s far from a done deal, as both might simply prefer to sign him in the offseason through restricted free agency that Turner goes into after his first four seasons in the NBA.
Both the Spurs and the Bobcats can’t add Turner this season without adding a player or two to the deal: The Bobcats are taking a $61 million cap hit this season while the Spurs are taking a $63 million one. Turner is making $6.6 million this season, which means that it’ll take a bigger deal (or a three-team one) than just a first round pick to get Turner, which might be something the Spurs aren’t that willing to do. The Bobcats, who don’t usually show too much sense of consistent and rigid building, might opt for the move, although risk losing Turner in the offseason to an offer they can’t match.
Turner is having the best season of his career and one of the pluses about him is his steady improvement since his rookie season. However, the 17.5 points per game might be a bit deceiving. Yes, his number per minute have also gone up quite drastically, but when you look deeper into the efficiency numbers, he’s not that much of a catch, especially considering he’ll be expecting to make at least $7-8 million a season.
Turner is shooting only 28.7% from beyond the arc, and for teams that expect quite a lot from their wing players these days, that simply doesn’t cut it. It’s also worth mentioning that the 76ers play at one of the highest paces in the NBA which helps pad numbers quite a bit. His True Shooting percentage is at 50.7%, well below the league average, and his effective field goal percentage of 45.4% isn’t something to be boasting about.
Turner can be a huge help for a team like the Spurs in their championship hopes (Depending on who they give up) and be what helps the Bobcats make the playoffs after being absent for quite some time. However, the price it’ll cost for both of them, and the risk of making it a short-term thing, makes the deal a lot less lucrative than it might sound.