Nobody expected Evan Turner to remain with the Indiana Pacers. Team president Larry Bird begrudingly dealt away the longest-tenured Pacer, Danny Granger, for the chance to add Turner´s scoring to a squad that looked like arguably the best team in the NBA in February.
The results were not ideal.
Turner´s skill set never really benefitted an impotent second unit and — both stylistically and personally — didn´t work mesh with Lance Stephenson. If it wasn´t bad enough that Turner´s poor play cost him his spot in the rotation during the playoffs, he and Stephenson also reportedly got into a fight during practice on the eve of the playoffs.
By the time Indiana declined to make a qualifying offer to Turner in free agency, it seemed like a formality.
The trade was a mistake, and the team was ready to put the move behind it.
According to his agent, so is Turner, who recently signed to play for the Boston Celtics. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald first reported the deal, and his story included the following quotes from David Falk, who is Turner´s agent.
“There’s tremendous upside in the opportunity for both sides,” said Falk. “I think the Celtics got an old-school Celtic-type player who’s very, very talented, has a very high basketball IQ and is highly motivated to prove to people that he’s not the player who ended the year in Indiana.
“I think he was probably the most undervalued free agent on the market. Evan was in a dramatically different situation the day before the deadline than he was when he finished the year. He didn’t get a lot of playing time in Indiana unfortunately.
“But that’s history. There’s nothing we can do to change that. This is a situation where he can come and grow as a player. I think Brad [Stevens] realizes he’s a multi-dimensional player.”
Turner´s stock fell drastically after he failed to become a positive force for the Pacers.
And Falk believes this cost his client millions.
“Had Evan stayed in Philly with those kind of numbers, more than likely he would have made in excess of $10 million a year,” he said. “So we obviously didn’t want to lock him into a long-term kind of a deal, and I think, likewise, the Celtics want to see. They know Evan was the national Player of the Year (in 2009-10). They know that over the last two years he’s averaged 14, 6 and 4 (13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists), which are pretty good numbers. So I think this is an opportunity for him to re-establish his value in a new environment.
“I think if you’d asked most GMs in February when Evan was averaging 17, 6 and almost 4, I think they all would have expected that he’d be a treasured free agent,” Falk added. “Unfortunately in the NBA, we tend to be very trendy. When you’re up, you’re really up. When you’re down, you’re really down. Sometimes people don’t modulate in the middle.”
It´s fair to say that there is no way that Evan Turner is worth $10 million per year on any planet.
Still, he has talents but unfortunately for both he and the Pacers, they simply weren´t talents that were useful in Indiana.
Both sides are surely happy to move on.