Despite only having a six percent chance at landing the No. 2 pick, the Sixers pulled out a miracle and defied those odds on Tuesday night.
A few weeks back, I profiled five players the Sixers should draft at No. 6.
I'm happy to report that list is now completely meaningless.
Now, much like the formerly-Seattle Supersonics three years ago, the Sixers find themselves literally in the easiest spot in the draft. They're wasting everyone's time if they take more than 10 seconds to submit their choice.
The Sixers pick whichever of John Wall and Evan Turner that the Wizards don't choose with the No. 1 overall pick. I'm assuming that despite Gilbert Arenas' return from his year-long suspension, the Wizards will select Wall with the No. 1.
That puts the Sixers on the clock at the No. 2. Let's check out why they absolutely must draft Evan Turner, and how he's actually the best possible player the Sixers could have hoped for.
Honestly, this is the No. 1 reason I jumped for joy when the Sixers landed the No. 2 pick.
As the trade deadline approached back in February, Andre Iguodala's name kept springing up in potential trades, as the Rockets, Cavaliers, and Suns were reportedly interested in acquiring his services.
Turner's essentially an Iguodala clone with a higher ceiling, Oh, and he will happen to come at a third of the price for the next four seasons. Did you hear that, NBA rivals? The bidding on Iguodala is officially open.
It's painfully evident that the Sixers will not be winning any championships by building the team around Iguodala and Elton Brand.
Thus, there's no reason to keep both of them around for the full length of their contracts (Brand has three years remaining, Iggy has four.)
Drafting Turner gives the Sixers a legitimate prospect to build around. The Sixers found a diamond in the rough with the No. 17 pick last year, Jrue Holiday. The combo of Holiday-Turner could give the Sixers something they haven't felt since Iverson was on the team: hope.
Turner's a rare prospect in that he plays multiple positions extremely well. He'll spend most of his time in the NBA swinging between the 2 and the 3 spots, as he handles the ball and passes like a guard but rebounds like a power forward.
Turner averaged an other-worldly 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists this past season for Ohio State. He did this while shooting nearly 52 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three-point range.
He creates off the dribble extremely well and gets to the basket at will. Turner also defends well for a superstar and has the talent to develop into a multi-selection NBA All-Star, no questions asked.
If Turner sounds like an Andre Iguodala clone (Iggy averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists for the Sixers this past year), that's because he more or less is. Except Turner's ceiling is much, much higher.
If the Sixers don't end up trading Iguodala, a backcourt of Jrue Holiday, Turner, and Iguodala would be a nightmare to guard defensively.
All three players can both create their own shots and facilitate their teammates' offense, which would punish any coach willing to double-team a Sixers player.
Michigan fans can vouch for this one.
With 2.2 seconds remaining in the Big 10 tournament, the Buckeyes were down by two and had to inbound the ball from under Michigan's basket.
Inexplicably, Michigan had no one cover Turner, and David Lighty passed Turner the ball uncontested.
Turner raced down the court, lifted off for a 37-footer, and the rest is history.
ESPN's Chad Ford says Turner's biggest weakness is his inconsistent three-point shooting. Having seen enough off-balance Andre Iguodala 28-footers at the buzzer, I'll take Turner jacking up those shots any day of the week.
In a 50-point blowout of Eastern Michigan on December 5, Evan Turner suffered a nasty fall while dunking and broke two vertebrae in his back. He was estimated to miss eight weeks at the time, and many flushed Ohio State's dreams of the Big 10 championship down the drain.
Turner returned in four weeks, missing only six games in the process. He helped lead OSU to a split of the Big 10 regular season championship and the Big 10 tournament title.
I don't know about you guys...but if I'm breaking two vertebrae in my back, not only am I milking it for unlimited hospital ice cream, I'm not even walking around for a few weeks.
Turner demonstrated unbelievable toughness in the face of adversity after his injury. He's the anti-Tracy McGrady.
Knowing that the Sixers have a player that's going to play every night, barring broken vertebrae, should be reassuring for the front office.
Turner enters the NBA with some serious credentials.
Not only did he lead his team to the Big 10 tournament championship (with the aforementioned 37-footer at the buzzer), Turner also happened to sweep the major National player of the Year awards this past season.
Wooden Award? Check. Naismith? Check. AP? Check.
John Wall may be the more "NBA-ready prospect"...but the Sixers should be more than happy with a proven winner as a consolation prize.
Let's get this straight: First, the Sixers re-sign Hank Baskett (after his Super Bowl snafu), bringing former-Playmate Kendra Wilkinson back to town with him.
Now the Sixers have the rights to draft Evan Turner, and we could get running commentary from Mark Titus, better known as the founder of Club Trillion?
Is this the greatest year of complements to Philly sports figures or what?
Club Tril is the funniest sports blog you'll read written by an actual (well, former) player. Titus is responsible for branding Turner with the nickname "The Villain" (and personally, I'm getting a Sixers jersey with Turner's number and "The Villain" on the back,)
If Sixers fans get Club Tril and his loyal followers along for the ride with Evan Turner's career, Philly's luck continues in spades.