"And with the second pick, in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select, Evan Turner..."
Those were the words that almost every 76ers fan had been dying to hear, heading into draft night. Earlier in the day, it appeared that the Sixers were actually leaning towards passing on Turner, and drafting Georgia Tech big man, Derrick Favors.
Evan Turner is a very interesting fit in Philly, and I'm going to break down why.
Some people thought Evan Turner would be a bad fit with Philadelphia's offense.
Turner's game is almost an exact match to Andre Iguodala's. Some believe that the pair will end up clogging each other's games up, which may result in one of them being traded.
That's about the only negative. The positives are definitely far greater in number.
First, he's got the ball handling ability to be a very good shooting guard, and may even play some point guard during his career. He's a very good scorer, as well as a good passer. I think if Iguodala and Turner both pass the ball regularly to the rest of the team, the 76ers have a shot to be lethal offensively this season.
In college, Turner was one of the best players I've ever seen at penetrating the defense, and then finding either a teammate cutting to the bucket, or a teammate standing wide open behind the three-point line.
He'll fit in well with the Sixers because he is such an unselfish player. Turner averaged six assists per game in his final season at Ohio State.
There are some areas on defense where Turner really needs to improve.
Number one, he must improve his footwork. Every now and then, I saw him getting blown around because he didn't know how to either move his feet, or move his hips to turn and stay in front of the offensive player. I'm sure the coaching staff in Philly will address that, and it will be corrected by the time the season starts.
Turner has a very solid overall game, with quick hands, long arms, and athletic ability. Those quick hands and long arms allow him to both deflect passes and get into the passing lanes for steals, leading to transition breakaways.
His athletic ability enables him to jump for blocks and dive on the floor for loose balls. Speaking of diving on the floor, another thing I like about him is his hustle. You can bet that he'll be one of the first to lay out in pursuit of a loose ball.
Overall, Turner is an excellent pick. The 76ers could have filled a need in the front court with Favors, but Turner is definitely the second-best talent in the draft.
In a couple years, he could very well be a star in the NBA.