The Philadelphia 76ers selected Evan Turner in the 2010 NBA Draft. Turner was selected over Demarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors who are two post players that NBA executives raved about. Cousin's had off the court and weight issues, and Favors was very raw at the power forward position. The 76ers made the safe choice and selected the mutli- dimensional player out of Ohio State.
While playing at Ohio State, Turner was a consensus All-American and won almost every collegiate award in College Basketball last season. Turner was often compared to Brandon Roy, but I will not go that far as of yet.
Evan Turner's biggest adjustment will be playing without the ball. Turner initiated Ohio State's offense while playing for the Bucks. Now Turner is back court mates with second year player Jrue Holiday. Turner is in a new role of playing off the ball and it is going to take time for him to become comfortable.
After being drafted, Turner had a rocky summer league. Turner admitted to being out of shape and he stated that he did not compete in five on five basketball since the Buckeyes lost to the Tennessee Volunteers in the NCAA Tournament. Turner showed flashes of what he can become, but he also looked lost on the court at times. After the summer league Turner dedicated himself in the gym and worked on his skill set.
This preseason Turner is going through the same issues that he went through in the summer league. There are reports that Turner lacks athleticism, his jump shot is erratic, and he looks uncomfortable at the shooting guard position. From watching Turner play this season some of things that are being said may be true, but they have yet to point out the positives. During the preseason Turner has handled the ball well while running the point , showed a knack of creating and getting to the foul line when his shot isn't working, and he may be one of the 76ers top rebounders if he plays enough minutes.
Head coach Doug Collins may be disappointed in his rookie, but Turner will improve just ask his former college coach Thad Matta. Turner had a slow start as a Buckeye and he left Ohio State with the Naismith Trophy.
Turner is a student of the game and he will continue to improve. He may not improve quick enough for the Philly faithful, but at least give him a chance to develop. The regular season starts next week and it is unknown if Turner will start at the shooting guard position or spend majority of his time at the back up point guard position.
The pressure is on for Evan Turner to produce. From watching him in his early days at Ohio State to the end of his junior season I think he will end up fine. He may never become Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley or Julius Erving, but he will become a great player for the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
Memo to Evan Turner: The Philadelphia fans are the toughest to play in front of, but when you produce they will embrace you like no other.