The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have pulled the trigger on a trade involving Evan Turner, sending the star swingman and Lavoy Allen to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Danny Granger.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was the first to break the story:
Indiana has traded Danny Granger to the 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
Zach Lowe of Grantland is reporting that the 76ers also got a future second-round pick in the trade:
Philly also got a future Indy 2nd-round pick in the Granger deal, source says.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 20, 2014
Turner had been a constant target for trade rumors and speculation up until this deal was approved. The 25-year-old is in the midst of a career year and commanding a reasonable salary, which is likely why the Pacers gave up so much to bring in the versatile talent.
The Ohio State product has started every one of the club’s 54 games this season and is averaging 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. He’s connecting on 42.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and 28.8 percent of his three-point shots.
Turner had been playing his best amidst a constant swirl of trade talk, a testament to his patience and willingness to play through distractions. He went so far as telling Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com that he was looking forward to the deadline: “I am excited to see what’s going to happen because it is like a riddle. Whatever happens, happens.”
It will be interesting to see what happens with Turner now that he’s finally out of that rebuilding situation and in Indiana. The four-year veteran is owed the remainder of is $6.7 million salary for this season, and the Pacers now have the ability to extend him an $8.7 million qualifying offer for the 2014-15 NBA campaign.
Were the 76ers wise to trade Turner?
One would think that Turner would be relieved to finally climb out of the pressure cooker and no longer being thought of as a pawn for Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie to play around with in trade scenarios, but that seems to have had little impact on the small forward’s psyche.
He told Lynam: “I was never worried about it. There is no relief. At the end of the day, so much has been said and there are too many rumors really to concern yourself with.”
The 76ers started the 2013-14 campaign hot, but eventually cooled off and are currently sitting at 15-40. This team is barreling head first to the top of the lottery and currently boasts the second-worst record in the entire NBA.
Without Turner in the fold, Philly still projects to continue to lose games and should reach rock bottom in short order.
However, this deal has shaken things up for the East-leading Pacers.
At 6’7”, 216 pounds, Turner has the size and athleticism to man multiple positions and could fill a number of positions for Indiana. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft is finally living up to his billing and should continue his development under head coach Frank Vogel.
It’ll be interesting to see how Vogel employs Turner in the lineup, but it’s certain that the team brass did not acquire the forward to have him languish on the bench. Expect him to come in and make an immediate impact, likely coming off the bench at first and potentially earning his way into the starting lineup.