Believe it or not, Evan Turner's offseason to-do list for maximizing his potential next season isn't that long.
To some, the only item on Turrner's list would be to get traded away from the Philadelphia 76ers. There is a significant group of people who believe he has gotten as good as he'll get in Philly and are ready for him to leave. That's certainly one take on things, but how about the one where he improves and becomes the player Philadelphia drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft?
Well, becoming a special player like the Sixers were hoping to get requires a significant amount of work to specific parts of his game.
Let's take a look at some of his strengths and areas in which he could improve.
First up on the list goes to Turner's versatility. Very few players put up 13.3 points, 4.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game throughout a whole season.
Saying he is a threat at putting up a triple-double on a nightly basis is definitely a stretch, but he tends to always have a stat line with at least five rebounds and assists.
It's important to differentiate versatility from other areas of his game, though.
Just because he's versatile, it doesn't mean he can score the ball effectively. His 41.9 shooting percentage verifies that he sometimes struggles to put the ball in the hoop.
And just because he averages over four assists per game, it doesn't necessarily mean he's a good passer. Averaging 2.3 turnovers per game isn't one of his better stats.
Still, though, he finds a way to get involved even if he's not doing it at the most efficient rate.
The world got a glimpse into how good of a rebounder Turner could be when the Sixers took on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Turner averaged 34.5 minutes in postseason games and put up 7.5 rebounds per game.
He has a knack for finding himself in position to get rebounds, and he makes the most of those opportunities. Most players can get lucky and grab a high amount of boards in a number of games throughout a season, but Turner consistently hits the glass.
This is an area of his game where there don't appear to be many weaknesses.
Most 6'7", 220-pound players aren't particularly known to be great ball-handlers. Sure, the majority of wings can drive to the basket and are capable of creating scoring opportunities for themselves, but not many are able to take the ball all the way down the court and handle whatever comes their way.
Turner has the ability to take a ball off of the glass on the defensive end of the floor and take it coast-to-coast. On top of that, he is often asked to play point guard when Jrue Holiday is on the bench.
In no way is this a comparison to LeBron James, but James is one of the only other players around the same size as Turner who occasionally plays at the point.
The point is obviously that he is a part of a select few players of his size that have that kind of ball-handling skill.
We'll start with the most obvious.
Two years ago Turner worked with a top shooting coach in hopes of developing a consistent shot.
We've all found out how the shot is still a work in progress.
Shooting 36.5 percent from three-point range isn't bad, but he took less than two threes per game. His 41.9 shooting percentage is the worst of his career, however.
The answer for his shooting woes is actually very fixable. It all comes down to shot selection. Turner has a habit of taking tough, contested mid-range jumpers. Those are better known as some of the hardest shots in the game.
Unfortunately, we don't know how much time Turner puts into the film room, but it's clear he needs to be in there longer. Taking a deep look at good vs. bad shots and understanding the difference between the two at an NBA level has the potential to improve his shooting percentage.
Chances are strong that it won't get any worse.
This comes from a strictly visual perspective, but there are way too many times where it feels like Turner doesn't care about what's going on or doesn't give all he can.
This is incredibly unacceptable.
He's playing in the NBA. It is a dream of millions across the world, and there's a chance he's lost an understanding of that. This fact hurts him in multiple ways, but the fans' perception of him is probably one of the biggest. Philly fans don't want to see somebody who doesn't respect the league he's in or the jersey on his back.
Turner probably grasps the concept of how lucky he is to be playing at the highest level. He just doesn't grasp it enough.
There is no reason for him to not give 100 percent in every game he plays in.
The solution for this is significantly more difficult because it comes from within. He can't go to the gym to iron out this flaw. He'll need to go back to what made him fall in love with basketball in the first place. If he took the time to really love the game again, fans might take the time to give him another chance.
If not, then don't expect him to be with the Sixers much longer.
Philadelphia is the wrong city to not play as hard you can in. He'll get eaten alive if he keeps it up.
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