Monday I wrote a colunn about Evan Turner returning home to Chicago and that maybe he isn't as far along as he'd like to be. During his senior season at St. Joseph, Turner's team lost in the playoffs to a team led by Derrick Rose, now the All-Star point guard for the Bulls.
Of the many emails I recieved about the column, a couple said that Turner needs time. Some said he should be the replacement at the small forward spot for Iguodala, who should be traded so the team can continue the rebuilding process.
Most of the emails, however, said that they see Turner as a complete bust - a player taken with the No. 2 pick who was supposed to step into the two guard spot, though he doesn't have two-guard skills.
Here's what I think:
When I was in Orlando this summer to watch the Rookie Summer League in which Turner participated for the Sixers, I saw a player that had some skills, but in no way looked like the national college player of the year, which Turner was after his junior year at Ohio State. There were glimpses, but not many. The common theme was that he was out of shape for not having worked out for fear of injury before the draft. Fair enough. But there was also bad body language, which is never a good thing.
When he has the ball in his hands, Turner can do some things. Problem is, the Sixers have a player who will have the ball in his hands in Jrue Holiday. Turner has exhibited no outside shooting skills, has shown he can rebound, and still has a problem with body language. Overall, is he a disappointment for a No. 2 pick. Sure. He didn't play against the Lakers on Friday, got just nine minutes in a win at Orlando on Saturday and played a bunch of mop-up minutes against the Bulls in a 45-point loss. Even in that game, with a hometown crowd looking on, he shot 2-of-11.
Hard to say after 28 games what kind of career a player might have. Right now it's hard not to lean toward disappointment when talking about Turner, no question. But I guess we have to see more to have a definitive answer.
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