ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are currently ranking every player in the NBA – a tradition that began just this past season. The rankings are being counted down (from 500 to 1) on ESPN’s NBA Twitter page; and were determined by a panel of 104 experts who gave each player a rating between 0 and 10.
Most recently, the Philadelphia faithful learned the fate of their highest draft pick since Allen Iverson, Evan Turner.
The two year pro enters the list at 119th – an increase of fifty-two spots from the previous year (improved from 4.63 [out of 10] to 5.15). Turner is positioned slightly better than Kendrick Perkins, and, slightly worse than Spencer Hawes (a quick look at the stats shockingly find the two very similar – Turner only averaged 0.2 points, 1.5 rebounds less than Hawes last season, with 0.2 more assists a game).
In terms of Philadelphia’s rankings from the previous year, Evan Turner continues his reign as Philadelphia’s fifth best player; however, Lou Williams will be ranked better than Turner this season.
The ranking of 119th pans out to be the twenty-ninth best possible fourth option for an NBA team – a projection that may sit well in Philadelphia as Andrew Bynum, Jrue Holiday, Thaddues Young, and Spencer Hawes are all rated better.
This past season, Turner saw a slight increase in minutes (only started twenty out of sixty-five games) and improved on every statistical average from his rookie campaign – aside from a slight increase in turnovers per game (attributed to earning more trust brining the ball up the court).
The 76ers only have Turner signed on for two more seasons, with the second season a team option of close to seven million dollars. It remains uncertain if Turner has a guaranteed future in Philadelphia, with this season certainly marked as his platform to prove the label “bust” wrong.
Turner will most likely remain on the bench, and spell Holiday as the team’s back-up ball handler. He should improve on his low assists per game average, and obtain a double-digit scoring average for the first time in his career. Due to Philadelphia’s lack of depth in the back-court, Turners improvement is a necessary step in becoming a serious contender in the East.
- Dave Hilts
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