Evan Turner Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent Guard

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 5: Evan Turner #12 of the Indiana Pacers drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 5, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Coming off of his best season in the NBA, Evan Turner has been garnering interest in free agency.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports the Minnesota Timberwolves are targeting the former No. 2 overall pick:

A source tells 1500espn.com that the Wolves are targeting former Sixers and Pacers shooting guard Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft. He became an unrestricted free agent after the Pacers didn't extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer.

After a putrid final few months with Indiana -- he only played four total minutes vs. Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals -- Turner fits what the Wolves are aiming for: a free agent on a 1-year deal.

Wolfson also reports the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in bringing in the shooting guard.

Turner spent the first three-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, improving his production every year. In 54 games with the team this season, Turner averaged a career-high 17.4 points to go with six rebounds per game.

After he was traded to the Indiana Pacers at the deadline, however, he only managed to average 7.1 points in 21.1 minutes per game.

Still, the Timberwolves are hoping Turner can provide the type of production he had early in the season when he got plenty of playing time and was given the green light to shoot when needed. With Minnesota, he will be able to play on a fast-paced attack and put up plenty of points.

The question is whether the guard can learn to be productive in a smaller role. Bradford Doolittle of ESPN (subscription only) explains the problem:

As a pro, Turner has often tried to fashion himself as a go-to scorer. He was given a chance to be that on last season's miserable Philadelphia 76ers squad, but his true shooting percentage of .504 was unplayable for a featured scorer. He tried to adapt on the fly after being traded to Indiana, but his efficiency suffered even more in a lower-usage capacity. By the playoffs, Turner was largely forgotten.

The good news is that with a one-year contract, it will ensure the Timberwolves have roster flexibility going forward no matter how well Turner plays. Worst-case scenario, the organization will be able to use 2015 as a big summer to add high-profile free agents.


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