Evan Turner is having a career year with the Philadelphia 76ers. Now in his fourth season, he is averaging a career high in points (19.7), rebounds (6.6), field goal percentage (44.7 percent) and free throw percentage (83.2 percent). Turner is playing a better all-around game by attacking the basket, getting to the free throw line and not settling for long twos and isolation possessions.
However, because of the lack of talent around him, he is getting a career-high in minutes (36.8) and field goal attempts per game (16.9) as well.
Because Turner’s numbers have been so good, his name has constantly come up in trade rumors. New head coach Brett Brown is getting the most out of Turner, but is the most good enough for new GM Sam Hinkie to want to sign him long term, as he is an upcoming restricted free agent? Turner might warrant too large of a contract, which is why they are listening to offers for him now.
But did Hinkie and company wait too long to make a move? Turner’s numbers are still great overall, but if you look closely the longer the season goes on, the less I would want to give up pieces for Turner in a trade. In the month of December, he’s shooting only 40 percent compared to the 46 percent he shot in November. His free throw attempts are down from 5.1 to 3.1, and his rebounds are down from 7.3 to 5.6 in December.
The reason for this is that Turner is starting to press and force his game again. He was at his best when he lets the game come to him, and lately he’s just been throwing his body around trying to get calls and getting his shots blocked. He has also looked horrible on the defensive end and has not been the complete player he was at the beginning of the year.
This regression, combined with the fact that he is a free agent next year with no guarantee that a team will keep him long-term, might scare some teams off from giving up a lot for Turner.
About three weeks ago, Turner’s trade value was at an all-time high. If Hinkie was going to make the move, that should’ve been it. Now he has looked god-awful in four out of the last five games, and Turner needs to regain composure if he wants to get back into form. It remains to be seen what Hinkie will do with some of his best players including Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young, but it remains to be seen if he waited too long to move Turner.