On a Friday when the stock market took a dive, the Philadelphia 76ers should heed the old market strategy line with regard to Evan Turner — sell high, buy low.
Turner had 34 points in a win at the New York Knicks earlier this week, and his stock has never been higher. In a 104-95 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, Turner added 13 points; Turner is averaging 18 points a game this season.
There is every indication that the Sixers, particularly GM Sam Hinkle, is considering the trade in recent days, even going so far as packaging 7-foot center Spencer Hawes to sweeten the deal. The Sixers already have two first-round picks for this upcoming draft and the play of Turner just might yield another one. A team like the Oklahoma Thunder could use some center and guard help and that might be an intriguing package that could pry a late first-round pick. The trade deadline is Feb. 20.
It doesn’t matter that Turner was a one-time national college player of the year at Ohio State. The Sixers are built as an unselfish, distribute-the-ball team and Turner never met a shot he did not like. Going forward, they will probably be better off without him.
Hinkle is not shy about trading young talent if he feels it will improve his team. Last year, he unloaded Jrue Holiday and got 7-foot Nerlens Noel in return, whose defensive game has been compared to Bill Russell. Noels is rehabbing his ACL and rebuilding his shot this season, anticipating that he will be 100 percent next season.
The Sixers are young and scrappy, but they really need frontline talent. They already have one in Michael Carter-Williams and Noel comes aboard next year, along with those two first-round picks. If they can secure a third first-round pick for any combination of players including Turner, they should go for it.
In the NBA, that’s the best way to get good in a hurry.