Evan Turner: The Philadelphia 76ers Must Start To Build The Franchise Around Him

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IJanuary 6, 2011

The Philadelphia 76ers have started out the season 13-20, ranking just outside of the playoff picture as the current ninth seed.

Recently, Sixers small forward Andre Iguodala suffered another injury to his Achilles that will keep him out for another few games.

Although this may seem like a bad thing for the franchise, it's actually beneficial. During Iguodala's absence, Evan Turner will be able to show us what he's got.

He has already shined numerous times when Iguodala is not playing. He has scored double-digits six times when Iguodala is out, one of which he had a season best scoring 23 points and five rebounds.

Turner proved he can be a leader without the presence of Iguodala.

He has also gained the confidence to take more shots and has developed more chemistry with rising point guard Jrue Holiday.

It is vital for Turner to see a substantial amount of minutes this season in order to become more comfortable with the offense and his young teammates that he will be playing with for years to come, especially now that Iggy is out.

Furthermore, he will make the rookie mistakes now rather than later.

The less amount of minutes Turner sees equals the more amount of mistakes in the future.

That's not what we need.

Just take a look at his game last night against the Hornets: He didn't have that good of a game. He settled for too many bad jumpers when he could have easily driven to the basket.

But it's better for him to make the mistakes now rather than later. 

What we need to do is dedicate this season to Turner's development into a superstar.

It won't help us now, but we are not built to win right now in the powerhouse Eastern Conference anyway.

We are built to win for the future—which brings me to my next point.

What do we do with Iguodala? It's a simple question with a simple answer.

Trade him.

It's clear that he is stunting the growth of Turner and taking away valuable minutes from the rookie.

We are not getting rid of him because he is bad, but we are getting rid of him because he is no use for the direction the franchise is heading.

In fact, we could get some nice value for him. There are plenty of teams out there who would place a good bid of draft picks and young players for him.

After the season is done, the Sixers should have a high draft pick plus the draft picks from Iggy and they should be in good shape for next season and for years to come.

Turner will be much more comfortable in the offense, poised for a breakout year.

The duo of Holiday (who is playing great basketball lately) and Turner is potentially great, especially with combo guard Jodie Meeks (who has also been playing very good).

Other guys like Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams will be of help, too.

It only makes too much sense for the 76ers.

Now is the time to start building for the future. The talent is there. It just needs time, development and good coaching, all of which I think the Sixers can fulfill.

The team must realize that right now. Turner is the guy.

The absence of Iguodala and the great play of Turner proves it even more.

They must pull off the right moves to make it happen and almost jump start the franchise to a clean slate with Turner.

It's the only way for the Sixers to be successful. 


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