by Kent Sterling
This is a deal that was hard to see coming. Most draft day trades are screwy little deals that don’t matter much, but Pacers forward Danny Granger for 76ers wing Evan Turner is a big deal.
While the Miami Heat have decided to stand pat, Pacers president Larry Bird has gone out and signed Andrew Bynum and traded for former #2 overall pick Evan Turner.
If you are looking for any wisdom here about the level of play Turner will bring to the Pacers, I must confess like most NBA followers, the 76ers have not been on my radar. At 15-40, the 76ers are not on national TV much. Turner averaged 17.4 points per game and six rebounds, but those points came on 16 shots per game for a terrible team. What that converts to for the Pacers is better known by Bird than me.
Those are statistics, but the good or bad to this deal will be shown on the floor. Coming out of Ohio State, Turner appeared capable of being a point forward, and whether he can contribute toward a championship.
An interesting aspect of Turner’s acquisition is the qualifying offer of $8.7 million for 2014-2015. The Pacers could opt not to make a qualifying offer, and let Turner walk, but if they are unable to come to an agreement with soon-to-be free agent Lance Stephenson this deal gives them a way to hold on to a good player.
If the Pacers are able to sign Stephenson, Turner can move on as an unrestricted free agent.
This is Bird being Matt Damon’s character in “Rounders”. He’s staring Pat Riley as “KGB” right square in the eye, and going all in. Anyone who doubted that Bird has the stones to do everything possible to win the title right here and right now should be convinced otherwise.
Lavoy Allen comes to the Pacers as well. If my expertise on Turner is limited, what do you think I know about a back-up power forward for one of the worst teams in the NBA? A couple of things we do know about Allen – he’s a good scorer at the four, and he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season.