Well the Sixers are off to a surprising start this season but the law of averages and that fact that they aren’t nearly as talented as 25 other NBA teams should mean they will finish somewhere in the bottom sixth of the league (Top 5 worst record.)
One player who is finally flashing his ability as an NBA player is Evan Turner. Most fans want Evan to be traded because of three reasons. One being that his trade value may never be higher than it is now while he is averaging 23.4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists so far and could go for some future pick. Reason two is that his contract will expire at the end of this year and he will most likely go for a lot of money in the FA market. The third reason is because of how Turner played in his first couple of seasons under Doug Collins considering he was a #2 overall pick and fans don’t see a lot of potential in him and are ready to move on for the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle.
I wouldn’t be so quick on the let’s trade Turner bandwagon. Turner has one ability that separates a lot of good NBA players. The ability to create his own shoot. If you have watched Turner in the past you should have noticed that he’s had this ability his whole career and even during his time at Ohio State. Turner just didn’t capitalized on his opportunity of making his shoots. This year Turner has taken a new aggressive approach to the basket, mainly because he is the “go-to” guy with Jrue Holiday now in New Orleans. Also first year head coach Bret Brown has a philosophy of playing tough defense and taking the ball to the hoop knowing he has a core of players that aren’t great shooters but are athletic and can get out and run the floor.
With all of that in mind let’s take a look at Turners improvements thus far this year in comparison to last year. Last year Turner had a true shooting percentage of .478 % where as this year it is up .564 %. That is a significant improvement. I mentioned driving to the basket more often and as a result Evan is now attempting 6 free-throws a game compare to his 2.5 in previous years. He now has the offense being run through him more with the departure of Jrue Holiday as now 27% of the offense is run through him with plays.
These numbers don’t suggest that he is an All-Star or at that elite level and in fact they suggest he’s slightly above average if you delve into his stats but it shows a big improvement in his game and that if he continues to improve, Turner should be a player we keep. But for now let’s just enjoy the show and hope he continues to grow.