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And the rumor mill finally starts churning for the Sixers.
Tucked away in the corner of a Weekend Dime post for ESPN, Marc Stein gives us a little morsel of Sixers trade rumor deliciousness that warms the belly this time of year. 'Tis the season to be rumory, I've heard. Dive in.
The Sixers, sources say, are open to a shakeup as they continue to wait for the return of Andrew Bynum to give All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday some badly needed help. And I'm told Philly, as such, is shopping (or at least making calls to gauge the value of) swingman Evan Turner.
This, as of now, isn't anything. Teams gauge interest for players allllllll the time and it would be disappointing if they weren't checking around the league to see what value their assets have, especially with a record of 21-27.
The interesting bit for me is... well what the hell could they get for Evan? The traditional stats say he's greatly improved and the eye test says the same, but analytics don't have ET much better than his first two seasons. His percentages are up because of the developed outside game, but he's had to take on a bigger role on both sides of the ball and with Andre Iguodala in Denver, everybody's defensive numbers have gone down. Hoopdata tells us Turner's shooting at the rim is worse than it's ever been and his free throw rate is only marginally better than last year. 82games reinforces the notion that he's much better defending smaller guards, as his oPER for shooting guards is a very nice 11.4.
So what could they get for him? I don't really know. This offseason they picked up his option for next year when they didn't have to. I think we can objectively say that he has improved a good deal, but his shot selection, decision-making and defense still leave much to be desired. Would they trade him in a package for Al Jefferson's expiring contract? Could they make a surprise run at Andrea Bargnani? Ben Gordon? ew.
We'll see what happens. Maybe nothing happens. I think in a perfect world they wait to trade Turner before we see what a lineup of Jrue-Evan-Shooter-Thad-Bynum can do. But if they can get value for him (I'm already insisting on some first round pick in return -- at least we know they can't trade any more of their own first rounders! /hyperventilates), I wouldn't necessarily blame them for pulling the plug on Evan.
I think he can be a good player in the right situation. I just don't necessarily think he's ready to be the elevated role player he needs to be to fit in this league.