Report: Evan Turner Traded to Hawks from Blazers for Kent Bazemore

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 28: Evan Turner #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 28, 2016 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers reached an agreement Monday to trade shooting guard Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic noted there's no further compensation in the trade and that it's a straight swap of Turner and Bazemore.

The trade represents an about-face by the Portland front office. The team signed Turner to a four-year, $70 million contract, which Spotrac noted carries a cap hit of $18.6 million next season, during the free-agent period in July 2016.

Bazemore is set to make $19.2 million in 2019-20 after opting in to the final year of his contract.

Wojnarowski noted it's a "cap neutral deal" for the two teams and gives the Blazers "an insurance policy" on Rodney Hood, whose "market value exceeds Portland's ability to keep him using the taxpayer MLE."

While Turner's career with Portland started well, it quickly turned sour for the 30-year-old Ohio State product. Maurice Harkless beat him out for a spot in the starting five during the 2016-17 campaign's training camp and the preseason, and Turner proceeded to struggle during the early going while coming off the bench.

He ended up averaging 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists across 65 games during his debut campaign in Portland. His performance continued to lag the following year, checking in at 8.2 points, 3.1 boards and 2.2 dimes per game across 79 appearances.

Turner owned averages of 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 2018-19.

Although the 2010 Naismith College Player of the Year did show signs of improvement at times, his production and efficiency are still lackluster based on the lucrative contract. He didn't take the step forward the Blazers were betting on.

In turn, Portland worked to rectify what looked like a serious mistake replacing his high-priced contract with another. 

Moving forward is probably best for everybody involved. The marriage between Turner and the Blazers got off on the wrong foot when he failed to lock down a consistent starting role, and it's better to separate now before his trade value has a chance to sink any lower.

The veteran swingman can be a useful asset—he put up 17.4 points per game with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013-14—but he must be consistently involved in the offense. That wasn't the case in Portland with the team's perimeter game revolving around Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Unlike Bazemore, he is also capable of playing point guard to provide some depth behind Trae Young.

Meanwhile, Portland adds some more depth on the perimeter with Al-Farouq Aminu hitting free agency. Bazemore has averaged at least 11 points per game in each of his last four years with Atlanta and can be a useful two-way option for a contending team next season.

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