Evan Turner, the consensus All-American from Ohio State, is in Philadelphia today for his first scheduled workout with the 76ers. Turner, who averaged 20.9 points and 9.2 rpg in his junior season, is visiting the team for his only scheduled workout before the June 24th draft.
The Sixers hit a proverbial goldmine in the Draft Lottery when they won the second selection. Many view Turner as the most complete player in the draft and expect him to fill a much needed void in the Sixers backcourt.
The Washington Wizards are expected to take John Wall, the Kentucky point guard, with the first selection when the draft takes place next Thursday at 7 p.m. (ESPN).
There have been many rumors and speculations that the Sixers are interested in trading down to either take Derrick Favours or DeMarcus Cousins, both of whom will be in town on Friday for their workouts, in the first round. A trade seems possible but, for the Sixers, passing on Turner could haunt them for years.
Along with Turner the Sixers will do some local public relations as they invited La Salle's Rodney Green and Villanova's Reggie Redding to the workouts as well. Neither Green nor Redding are expected to go in the first round and could be possible non-drafted free agents for the Sixers.
Good news for the Turner workout is that new head coach Doug Collins will be in attendance for Turners visit.
The biggest factors for the Sixers expectation on taking Turner were the issues that Collins addressed in his opening press conference on May 24.
He told the media that not only was shooting guard (Turners natural position) the teams biggest flaw, but he said the team was looking for "toughness, both mental and physical. I think you can develop it, but it also helps to have a couple of tough guys on your team."
Out of the players that will be available to the Sixers, Turner is hands down the toughest. This is a kid that suffered severe life threatening cases of pneumonia and measles before his fourth birthday, and he was hospitalized after being hit by a car at the age of six.
Even Turner is hopeful to play for the Sixers and has been quoted as "truly excited to play in the city of Philadelphia."
We all know that playing in Philadelphia is a tough task but, from his history, I think we can all agree Turner fits the bill.
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Sources for the Associated Press & Philadelphia Inquirer were used in this article.