How Philadelphia 76ers Offseason Additions Will Force Evan Turner to Improve

Zachary Arthur@Zach_ArthurSLCCorrespondent IIOctober 18, 2012

It's time for Evan Turner to prove why he was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft
It's time for Evan Turner to prove why he was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draftElsa/Getty Images

Evan Turner will be in the running for the Most Improved Player of the Year award this season.

The 76ers" target="_blank">Philadelphia 76ers' offseason additions will be a large reason why.

Taken as the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Turner has largely disappointed in regard to what is generally expected out of the second pick.

He hasn't come close to touching his college numbers of 20 points and nine rebounds per game as a senior at Ohio State University. On top of that, his lesser athleticism compared to his peers has left him a step or two behind at times.

Still though, Turner got the nod and was put into the starting lineup near the end of the season.

The result?

How about averaging 10.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the playoffs? The Sixers also learned that he can be a reliable option by averaging 35.3 minutes during that stretch.

The best part about his recent improvement is that Philadelphia has brought in some talent to fill many of the holes from last year.

Fixing the team's problems should help to allow Turner to play to his strengths.


Maalik Wayns

Wayns could end up being a lot more valuable than people think.

His three-point shooting ability will come in handy, but the most valuable part of his game—in regards to Turner—will have to do with where he'll start the game.

On the bench.

There's no doubt that Turner will be in the starting lineup, but Philly needs to be careful about how many minutes they give him.

He'll need to get starter minutes, but 35 a game is way too many to begin with. 25-30 minutes is where he needs to start at and having Wayns coming off the bench will be help to give Turner the right amount of rest.

They don't play the same position and they really don't need to. The more players that can come in and contribute, the less that players like Turner have to go in and take up the slack.


Royal Ivey

Returning to Philadelphia won't come with many minutes, so his effect on Turner won't be as significant as others.

Ivey on the court allows for a legitimate two guard, giving the Sixers options with whom they put around him.

Putting Turner at point guard while Ivey's on the floor could allow for some mismatches, but chances are that they won't be playing together too much.


Jason Richardson/Nick Young/Dorell Wright

And we finally get to some potential starters alongside Turner for the beginning of the season.

Richardson's arrival should allow Turner to get back to being more of a playmaker and less of a shot maker.

That sounds strange, but Turner shouldn't be asked to come off screens and hit open jumpers. He shouldn't be asked to camp out on the wing and wait for a kick-out.

He needs to be asked to make something positive happen every time he gets the ball in his hands though.

Having a player like Richardson up top or on the wing will give Turner more space than someone like Andre Iguodala did last year. Richardson's defenders will be forced to play out to the three-point line, providing Turner with opportunities to attack the basket.

Nick Young is clearly Lou Williams' replacement. He'll most likely be coming off the bench, but he should be seeing a lot of minutes.

Bleacher Report's NBA lead writer, Josh Martin, quoted head coach Doug Collins as he was interviewed by Dei Lynam of Coach Collins discussed how Turner would be seeing time at point guard in the second rotation:

"With losing Lou, we are going to have to have a guy who can handle the ball with that second unit...I could sub for Jrue early in the game with another perimeter guy and let Evan play out the quarter and then come back with Jrue as the point guard with our second unit and let Evan rest. I think what you will see is Jrue and Evan playing point guard with the second unit based on night to night."

Turner's increased minutes at point equal shooting opportunities for players like Young. Look for him to be Turner's go-to-option when he's playing with the second unit.

Will Dorell Wright start? No, but he'll give Turner the rest necessary while not skipping too many beats when he hits the floor.

If they happen to take the court at the same time, then expect Wright to have a similar role to Young's.

Don't be surprised to see Turner's assist numbers increase by about two this year because of the shooters that Philadelphia's brought in.

These three guys can shoot the lights out on any given night, helping Turner in a variety of ways.


Arnett Moultrie/Kwame Brown

These two players couldn't be any more different.

One has a full career of promise ahead of him as the other is looking to do something in his career to prove that he isn't a bust. However, they do share one similarity.

Neither of them will be getting too much playing time.

Brown has the potential to occasionally get in for 20 minutes at times, but it's unlikely. He's too big of a liability for the Sixers to put much faith in him.

Moultrie is a rookie power forward full of talent and athleticism, but he's trapped on a team that's simply too deep. He won't see the court much because of all the good players in front of him.

The lack of playing time between the two shouldn't affect Turner much as the year moves forward.


Andrew Bynum

Philadelphia's most valued acquisition will end up being crucial toward Turner's success this year.

In fact, Turner will have to change his game up in a way that benefits him greatly. 

His rebounding totals from last year were incredible. He had the highest rebounding rate in the league among guards, but there is simply no way for him to keep up those numbers with Bynum under the rim.

Bynum's rebounding ability should make Turner play a bit further from the hoop when the shot goes up.

It will allow Turner to get back on defense quicker, as well as jump out on the fast break and get easy buckets at the hoop.

Bynum should help to give Turner what he needs most: An identity.

Finding himself will be what ultimately makes or breaks this year.

So far everything is looking positive, though. Let's hope that things stay this way with the season right around the corner.


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