The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be much worse than they have been in the 2013-14 NBA season. After trading away Jrue Holiday on the night of the 2013 NBA Draft in exchange for injured rookie center Nerlens Noel, their intentions to blow up the roster and essentially start from scratch became obvious. Subsequently, a plethora of in-season trades seemed inevitable for this team.
However, with strong play from rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams leading the way to start the year, the 76ers came out of the gate much hotter than anyone could have predicted. Now that they’ve settled into a more expected pattern of losing as of late, though, their roster still remains in-tact. That might not be the case much longer.
According to a report from Sporting News, the Sixers have inquired around the league about the possibility of trading wing Evan Turner. Ideally, Philly is looking to get a first round pick in exchange for Turner. However, there haven’t been any serious buyers for Turner yet, which isn’t exactly surprising.
Turner’s rookie contract expires at the conclusion of this season, meaning that he will become a free-agent. Coming off of his rookie deal, though, whether or not he becomes a restricted or unrestricted free-agent hinges upon whether or not Philadelphia will extend him an $8.7 million qualifying offer. If the Sixers don’t see him as part of their future, though, the predominant belief is that they would let him become unrestricted by not extending the qualifying offer.
If the Sixers are going to move Turner for a first round pick, they are going to have to get creative. There’s really no upside for a team to trade away a valuable draft pick for a guy they will have a possibility to grab on the open market in the coming summer. The Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline is just two weeks away, so we’ll see how this plays out shortly. As of now, though, it all hinges on how Philly can finagle to make a deal work.