The Boston Celtics and newly acquired swingman Evan Turner have one large thing in common and they both wish never existed. They both are in need of an immediate repair to their images, more so Evan Turner than the Celtics. For any rebuilding franchise, there’s nothing wrong with acquiring a low-risk, medium-reward player. If it pays off, the Celtics will have the scoring wing that they have needed all season last year, whether Turner is starting or coming off the bench. As for Evan Turner, his career numbers haven’t been bad at all with averages of 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists since coming into the league in 2010.
Unfortunately, it has been a shaky ride for the former #2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Turner’s best season of his career came last season with the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Indiana Pacers midway through last year. Turner averaged 17.4 points, 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season with the 76ers (a tanking 76ers team). After he joined the Pacers, he didn’t make any memorable moments for the rest of the season. His numbers had dropped drastically with Indiana only playing 21 minutes per game and averaging 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists during that stretch. Indiana didn’t see much of a future in Evan Turner and only acquired him as a rental for their playoff run.
I feel that the problem that Evan Turner has had during his career with Philadelphia and Indiana is that he hasn’t had the support or confidence in his teammates or his coaches. The aspect that seperates Boston from Indiana and Philadelphia is that the Celtics are a very patient franchise and do recognize that the type of player of Evan Turner is worth the investment. According to Turner’s agent David Falk, Brad Stevens is one of the biggest reasons why Turner decided to sign with the Celtics.
“I think Brad Stevens had an opportunity to take a player with a high skill set and a very strong desire to prove what happened in Indiana was a mistake. I think Brad has a chance to put him in the right sets and have a great bargain in free agency. That’s why we put this thing together. We were looking for a coach that felt like Evan could be an important contributor to the team.”
Brad Stevens has something potentially special to work with in Evan Turner, which commonly isn’t the case for a rebuilding team. It will be a familiar task for Stevens to maximize Evan Turner to his full potential. That is something that Brad Stevens excels in and he has the history of maximizing Jordan Crawfords potential and saving Kris Humphries’ career.
Evan Turner just needs to keep this idea in his mind: stay true to yourself. He doesn’t have to be what the Philadelphia or the Indiana fans thought he should have been. He doesn’t need to be the Celtics’ primary scorer, nor does he have to have the ball be force-fed to him regularly. This is more about finally getting started rather than starting all over again. It’s showing that a player like Evan Turner can not only survive, but thrive on a team like the Boston Celtics.