Evan Turner Confident He'll Be Back With Sixers
Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013, 7:41 PM
Say this for Evan Turner, he's self-assured.
So far, the 76er hasn't had the impact expected as the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Despite that, Turner said that he'll be a Sixer next season even though his name has come up before in trade rumors.
"Not to be arrogant or cocky, but my name comes up, I believe, because of trade value in that situation," Turner said. "Regardless of whether I get heat for certain situations or certain bad nights and stuff, I still think I'm a valuable player in this league."
Of the top five picks in the 2010 draft, Turner's career average of 10.1 points ranks third behind Washington's John Wall (16.9), the first overall pick, and Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins (16.3), who went fifth.
Utah's Derrick Favors (44 starts) is the only top pick in that class with fewer career starts than Turner's 116.
Turner, who plays forward, averaged a career-best 13.3 points this season and was the only Sixer to start all 82 games.
"I'm just tapping the surface," said Turner, who averaged 7.2 points as a rookie and 9.4 last season. "The difference between 14 points and 18 points are a couple of foul calls. So people might agree that I get fouled a lot. So if I get to 18 points, that's all-star numbers."
But for every solid performance, the 6-foot-7, 220-pounder has had two or three horrible nights. His low-point came in a 97-86 victory against Washington on April 12. Turner was held scoreless on 0-for-11 shooting. That marked the second time this season when he failed to make a field goal. He scored a point during a 0-for-4 shooting performance in a 99-89 victory over Memphis on Dec. 26.
Turner's biggest problem has been an inability to string together consecutive productive performances while playing on back-to-back nights. That's something the Chicago native said he was told he must improve upon during Thursday's season-ending meeting with former coach Doug Collins, general manager Tony DiLeo, and majority own Josh Harris.
The Sixers could offer Turner a contract extension this summer. His current rookie contract runs through the end of next season.
"I'm not worrying about [an extension]," Turner said. "I'm just worrying about getting better. . . . I want to be the best player that I can be and reap all the benefits the NBA has to offer."