Report: Miami Heat Rejected Evan Turner for Udonis Haslem Trade Before Deadline

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Report: Miami Heat Rejected Evan Turner for Udonis Haslem Trade Before Deadline
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Evan Turner is in a tough situation in Indiana, trying to replace career Pacer and team leader Danny Granger while taking plenty of heat for the team's recent struggles.

It's scrutiny he wasn't facing in Philadelphia, where he started the season. And it's something he may never have had to face if the Miami Heat had agreed to acquire him in February.

According to The Miami Herald's Dan Le Batard:

...The Heat was offered Evan Turner before Indiana. All they had to give up was Haslem, who wasn’t even playing. Haslem, like Danny Granger, has spent his basketball life with only one team, and he talks a lot about the Heat way and family. The Heat didn’t make the trade at least in part because it didn’t like how the message contradicted what it was selling James when it met him, or what it might do to the locker room.

Of course, those reasons Miami didn't pull the trigger on the deal could have easily been applied to Indiana in regards to Granger.

The Pacers obviously felt the potential reward outweighed the risk when they swapped Granger for Turner. The early returns may be proving them wrong.

After starting the season 41-13, Indiana is 14-13 since the move was made. And Turner has struggled worse than the shell that Granger had become in the Indiana blue and gold.

 

Player G PER TS% TRB% AST%
Danny Granger 29 10.4 .491 9.0 8.1
Evan Turner 25 9.4 .453 8.2 17.3
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/13/2014.

 

As you can see, Turner is a better playmaker than Granger, but his shooting has been a disaster. That's why he hired a shooting coach, according to Scott Agness of Pacers.com. On doing so, Turner said:

I saw him in Dallas working with (a Mavericks player) and I was telling him that I wanted to get some reps and rhythm with him. I got a lot more time (now). In Philly, I was kind of always dead a little bit because I was playing 40 minutes a night. Now, I have more energy because of the change in system and stuff.

If Turner can find some kind of consistency as a shooter, he could still be a valuable part of Indiana's rotation in the postseason.

Defenders will have to play him closer if they respect the drive and the shot. That will make getting to the rim and setting up his teammates easier.

It's something he did effectively in Sunday's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he dished out four assists in a 10-minute span in the first half.

A couple of them went to C.J. Watson, who scored 20 points off the bench and looked very comfortable playing off the ball. Perhaps transitioning Turner to backup point guard could be the answer.

As for Miami, they likely don't regret turning down Philadelphia's offer. Haslem is back in the rotation for the Heat and playing efficient basketball—something Turner certainly isn't doing. At least not consistently.

Will it come back to haunt them in the postseason?

Despite the struggles of both teams, there's still a good chance they meet in the Eastern Conference finals. 

If Turner plays a big role in Indiana knocking off the defending champs, the Heat could be left wondering, "What if?" 

 

Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com and are current as of April 13, 2014.

Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.

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