It seems like the Philadelphia 76ers have had Evan Turner on the trading block since before the World Series, but they have remained steadfast about requiring a first-round draft pick in exchange. Until now.
With the team in shambles and their hopes pinned to the future, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported that the 76ers would now deign to accept a second-round pick as part of a deal to ship Turner out of town:
Unable to secure a 1st-round pick in a deal for Evan Turner, Sixers may now take a 2nd as part of package for '10 No. 2 pick, sources say.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 20, 2014
The Sixers were understandably dangling the second overall pick from the 2010 draft. With a qualifying offer looming for next season, there was no guarantee they could hang onto Turner, and their plan for the future does not seem to involve giving him a lot of money anyway.
Philly has plenty of room to take back salary for Turner and is averse to signing him to a nearly $9M qualifying offer this summer.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 20, 2014
Turner has the ability to rack up stats across the board. This season, he's averaging a career high with 17.4 points per game on top of 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steals. There are plenty of teams that could use his solid production as soon as possible.
Fortunately, Turner sounds like he has a good head about all the trade talk. As he told CSN Philly's Dei Lynam: "I am excited to see what’s going to happen because it is like a riddle. ... At the end of the day, so much has been said and there are too many rumors really to concern yourself with."
The 76ers appear to have a bright future ahead of them with probable Rookie of the Year point guard Michael Carter-Williams and injured big man Nerlens Noel as cornerstones. How the team allocates money going forward will dictate the franchise's fate for the next decade.
All the Sixers veterans are up for grabs in addition to Turner, with Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes chief among them.
That said, Philly might actually be hoping to be out of the lottery by next season and aiming to make a run in the watered-down East, but Turner is unlikely to be along for the ride.