There seems to be a growing belief that the 76ers are going to pass on Evan Turner with the number two pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Let me be the first to call them stupid. Evan Turner is a franchise changing basketball player and when you have the ability to draft one of those kinds of guys, you never ever pass it up.
As a Wisconsin Badger fan I got to see quite a bit of Turner. He reminded me of another guy who I got to see play a lot of college basketball, Dwayne Wade. Both had the uncanny ability to always know when to take over a game and when to involve teammates. As Kobe Bryant and LeBron have proven, knowing when to take over and when to allow teammates pull their weight is not always easy. Turner has that down.
Most impressive about Turner is his wide range of abilities. This past year he average 20 point, 6 assists, and 9 rebounds a game. Last year, he put up 17 point, 4 assists, and 7 boards a game. Pretty remarkable stuff for a guy who is 6’7″. He has the ability to grab a rebound and start his own fastbreak, or just bring up the ball and run the offense. His versatility allows him to almost always have a matchup advantage.
On top of that, he also has pretty decent range. He shot 36% from three this year, but shot an even better 44% from there last year. Overall, he shot an amazing 51% on the year. He’s also a good defender and quick enough to stay with speedy point guards. That, combined with his long arms makes him a valuable contributor on the defensive end of the court as well.
Ultimately, I will not be surprised at all if Turner is the best player from this draft. John Wall is a freak, but there is a decent chance he ends up being one of those awkward combo guards. While those players are good, they don’t win titles. Evan Turner will win a title in his career because he’s a franchise changing player. If the 76ers are dumb enough to actually let him pass, the New Jersey Nets will have hit the jackpot.