Evan Turner’s trade value is zilch. It’s become clear he’s gone from second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft to a player you can’t even get a late first round pick for. Despite Sixer’s General Manager Sam Hinkie’s efforts, the Phoenix Suns didn’t have enough interest in Turner to give up that late first round pick. Inevitably, Hinkie’s trade proposal turned out to be great a decision because of it’s impact regardless of the outcome.
Here’s a proper explanation. Let’s access the trade as if it had gone down. Not half, but all of what the organization once considered their backcourt of the future would be gone. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would no longer be on the roster. Keep in mind the Sixers are one of the youngest teams in the league. You would have to assume that would make the team that much worse off next year.
The assumption by some is that Hinkie is setting up next years team to fail. Multiple national sources have even gone as far as ranking the Sixers as one of the top teams tanking for a chance at drafting a franchise changing player like Andrew Wiggins. That seems like a logical point of view. The Sixers meanwhile would also get more young talent, even if nothing is assured with a late first round draft pick. Win, win, right? No more pain in the neck Evan Turner, better draft day forecast and a first round draft pick. Using that pick to draft a player that you would have to develop, but has some up-side, might have been another nice move on Hinkie’s part. It doesn’t seem like he’s building the team to be successful in the near future anyway.
So it turns out that never happened. To be honest it might be a blessing in disguise. It’s hard to see Turner’s trade value getting any worse, but it’s always possible for an injury or two to make that happen. Worst case scenario not with standing Evan Turner could still command that late first round pick by the trade deadline. Even if his numbers stay the same, some desperate playoff bound team with an unforeseen injury might pull the trigger on a deal similar to what the Sixers offered the Suns.
Evan Turner could also become a better player than what he has shown so far in his NBA career thanks in part to a little motivation from Sam Hinkie. By Sam trading Jrue Holiday, that decision made it clear that anybody on the roster is expendable, Evan included. At some point Turner had to have realized that he was a part of a proposed trade that would have sent him to the Suns for that infamous late first round pick. It’s just that nobody wanted Turner enough to give up a first rounder on him. Hinkie might be hoping that might be all the motivation Turner needs to break out the way he did his junior season at Ohio State. Funny thing, Evan switched positions and became Ohio State’s point guard his breakout season there. Though results aren’t guaranteed at the NBA level, it’s possible a change might translate to better results.
Hinkie might not be challenging Evan to be the player he was once projected to be, but he could be hoping that with some motivation Evan will take some steps in that direction. His tenuous relationship with Doug Collins is no longer an issue. Hinkie’s comments recently have even been supportive of Turner. Hinkie had this to say “Our team and our roster is very different than last year… This could well be an opportunity where Evan thrives. I hope our standards will be a place where hard work and competitiveness are rewarded and valued. Evan has those in spades.”
If Sam Hinkie’s jedi mind tricks work, maybe Evan Turner will dig deep enough to obtain the desired results of all those associated with the organization. A break out season from Evan would make him a much more valuable trade piece once the trade deadline approaches. That late first round pick could suddenly become a mid first rounder? It’s a big if and there is always the possibility that he shrinks under pressure. Somebody has to pick up the slack now that Jrue Holiday is gone though.