Is 76ers Rookie Evan Turner A Bust?76ers, Eastern Conference, NBA Saturday, December 25th, 2010
Paging Evan Turner. Has anyone seen Evan Turner? Just in case you need a refresher course, Turner was the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was labeled as a “can’t miss” prospect but numerous pundits, including yours truly. Turner started the season off sluggish, but showed he had the ability to play at the NBA level and appeared to be missing something. So most observers, including myself, were willing to wait for Turner to “adapt” his game to the pro-level.
However, after 29 games, is it safe to say that he isn’t the player the 76ers needed to select with the No. 2 pick? It’s not as if the draft was loaded with franchise players like the ’96 draft or even the ’03 draft. Sure, a few of the players selected after Turner are playing well, but at that time you would be hard-pressed to find many people that felt as if Turner was a bust before his performance during the NBA Summer League games.
Unfortunately, none of that matters now. Minus the last game versus his “hometown” team the Chicago Bulls, Turner has only played over 20 minutes in one of the teams last nine games (the Sixers were 7-2 during that stretch). Turner has only scored double digit points five times in the last 20 games, and has been held scoreless six times this season.
He looks lost on the court, except for when it comes to rebounding. And with the Sixers in the early mix for a playoff spot, it’s appearing to be a real challenge for head coach Doug Collins to find him playing time. It’s sad because this team is stock full of young talent that is in desperate need of a superstar. The kind of player scouts are expected to draft with a top 5 pick.
However, Turner isn’t that guy yet, and is looking more and more like he may never be. Yes, it’s early and some players blossom later rather than right away, but he hasn’t shown enough for anyone to confidently say he will bust out of his shell soon. He’s struggling to get past defenders and has yet to develop his “off the ball” game.
So the real question that needs to be answered is, can he be labeled as a bust now or is it too early to label him a bust? 29 games is way too early to put him in the category of other legendary busts that were selected with the No. 2 pick. Is he really in the same category as Darko Milicic, or Stromile Swift? No.
However, the uneasy feeling that Sixers fans are developing about his sub-par play, or lack of is definitely warranted. Just give the kid a full season before the word bust is attached to his profile.
After all, a true fan of the team should be cheering this kid on rather than trying to destroy what possibly could be a good NBA career in the future.
Turner’s quarter season grade: D+
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