Minnesota Timberwolves Are Evan Turner's Best Chance at Superstardom

Timber WolfAnalyst IIJune 15, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 21:  Dallas Lauderdale #52 and Evan Turner #21 of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on in the second half while taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradley Center on March 21, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves had their eyes set on one prospect for the whole 2009-2010 NBA season. His name is Evan Turner.

With Ricky Rubio on the books, Jonny Flynn having a solid season, Corey Brewer having a breakout season, and the Wolves having above-average bigs, the Wolves needed a shooting guard.

For the first time in a long time, the Wolves have a glaring fit for a player that's accessible to them and that's easily recognizable to NBA fans, ESPN's Chad Ford, etc.

In essence, anyone that says Evan Turner would not fit in well in Minnesota is either an idiot or blind with two perfectly working eyes.

The problem is that the Wolves are not in position to draft Evan Turner; as of right now, they are two spots down. It's also become quite obvious that the corresponding team that's in the best position to take him (the Philadelphia 76ers) are more in need for a big man.

Not to take anything from the 76ers, but two years ago, the 76ers were in the playoffs, duking it out very impressively with the Orlando Magic. And it seems that when they lost their point guard in Andre Miller, things went south. A good young team nonetheless, they obviously have taken a liking to Evan Turner.

With that said, the Washington Wizards prefer John Wall, and it's indeed such a love that's made the No. One pick untouchable; it's similar to the Wolves' attachment to Ricky Rubio.

It would take something unbelievable to pry that No. One pick from the Washington Wizards, as it would take something of the same nature to pry Rubio away from the Wolves.

Although Evan Turner is liked heavily by Philly, there are signs around the 76ers organization that they could look elsewhere; regardless if you are a Sixers fan, it's the truth.

I guarantee you that if the Wolves had the No. Two pick, there would not be any other workouts concerning the top prospects other than Evan Turner—there is not one doubt in my mind. The Minnesota Timberwolves wouldn't look twice at DeMarcus Cousins; maybe Derrick Favors would get a look, but Turner would get a bold-faced stare.

The Philadelphia 76ers have a need for a big like DeMarcus Cousins, due to the fact that they have older bigs that can mentor a young player such as him. The fact that Cousins statistically is the best player in the NBA draft doesn't hurt one bit.

The Wolves are searching for a long-term option at the center position, so one could question why the Minnesota Timberwolves wouldn't like him on their team.

But they would. In fact, they are completely happy with taking Cousins once he's available, barring an opportunity to trade up—he's the best player available by a long shot. But the need is in a shooting guard, which Evan Turner is.

Looking at the 76ers roster, they feature some very good talent, but I fear that there would be some chemistry issues amongst Evan Turner and that respective group.

Because Evan Turner is a ball-dominating guard, he needs the ball. Although a developing three-point shooter, Evan Turner puts the 76ers in a position where no one can shoot the three-ball consistently.

By limiting Turner's touches, it might make his game less effective. The Minnesota Timberwolves run a variation of the triangle offense, but they are primarily a running and cutting offensive team, and are in desperately need of a scoring wing player with leadership qualities.

Again, the 76ers are in great position to draft a potential franchise player, but I fear that it won't be the best situation for him unless they solve the Iggy-Turner situation. A player such as Evan Turner needs his small forward to be an athletic runner, and a three-point shooting, long defensive player that will complement him, such as Corey Brewer/Wesley Johnson/Al-Faroq Aminu.

The 76ers hired Doug Collins and that might provide some incentive that he's looking to keep Iggy and even Elton Brand (a player with a ridiculous contract) whilst drafting Evan Turner at the same time.

I don't know, I'm not an insider, but it seems to me that in the lottery, the only place that Turner becomes that franchise player would be the Timberwolves. No doubt he could be an All-Star (Chris Kaman and Al Horford were All-Stars, not franchise players), but to become the best, he has to be put in the best situation.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see him as a franchise player anywhere else but Minnesota. If I'm the 76ers, I trade Iguodala and don't look back, but it's easier said than done.

This is why I think ultimately, the Sixers could trade the pick, and the only reason as to why it hasn't already been done, has to be one of the following:

  1. They've already decided they are picking Turner (highly unlikely).
  2. They know the Wolves want him, and are waiting on the best offer they can possibly get.
  3. No one else has been aggressive enough to get him.
  4. It's too early (most likely).

Among others, in order to get Turner to the Wolves, it will cost them twice as much as it would cost another team. Why?

Because like I've said earlier, it's been blatantly obvious that the Wolves want him, and if you know a team wants that particular player, you're going to maximize the pick's value.

There have been rumors around the web speculating that the Wolves are going to trade their European center, Nikola Pekovic, whom they have stashed away, and a second round pick, for the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

This would mean the Wolves would have four picks in the draft—the fourth, 14th, 16th, and 23rd. It's highly likely that if the Wolves feel it's in their best interest to get Turner, that they will make Philly an offer of the fourth, 16th, and 23rd for the second.

And if I'm a GM, that's extremely hard to turn down. There are too many prospects in this draft that could fill a glaring need for the Wolves as well as the 76ers, and with Philly already having a solid foundation in veteran ball players, young talent could be added for depth.

Picture the Sixers drafting DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, and stashing a European big like Kevin Seraphin overseas for a season. How about Wesley Johnson (who would be a good fit) and Gordon Hayward?

Yes the price is very steep, but you have to pay for a star at times. The Wolves need someone to put people in their seats, and who else but Evan Turner with the combination of Ricky Rubio coming over next season?

This is why I think the Wolves are willing to pay the price, and if I'm Evan Turner's agent, I would be pushing for the Wolves to make a move.

Again, all in all, the 76ers are in a great position, but I would not be surprised if the Wolves end up drafting Evan Turner come draft night through a trade. The price is steep, but if the Wolves grab another pick in the first round, trading three picks for the No. 2 pick is still steep, but it doesn't hurt as much.

But do not be surprised if the price comes cheaper: After all, they've already lifted the whole story about having to take Elton Brand (a clear sign).

Catch my drift?



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