Evan Turner will be -- by far -- be the most difficult player to accurately preview. Unlike the other 13 guys, I haven't watched The Villain play 80+ NBA games and I barely have any statistics at my disposal. I'll do my best after the jump.
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Turner's summer league performance affected peoples' opinion of him way more than is being led on. Whether people truly believe his performance in Orlando is indicative of his talent, or whether peoples' opinion of him is being swayed subconsciously because of how terrible he looked, expectations have clearly been lowered.
It's human nature to overvalue a last impression, but here are three valid reasons other than screaming it's freakin' summer league that you shouldn't worry about Turner.
That's right, the man being advertised as "the best basketball player in the world" by some, after leading Team USA to a gold in the FIBA world championships struggled in the summer league. According to the link above Kevin Durant scored 0.731 points per shot during his rookie year in the summer league. That's flat-out awful. In comparison, Turner averaged 1.2 points per shot. Durant also averaged only 2 rebounds per game.
In no way am I comparing Turner to Durant as players, but they were similarly criticized during the summer league. Both were expected to dominate and neither did.
Turner's potential falls somewhere between an All-Star caliber player and a superstar, much like the player he's often compared to, Brandon Roy. And I'd be thrilled if Turner reached that potential because I don't think he'll ever be a full-blown superstar.
One Stat You Should Know
Technically this isn't a stat, but Evan Turner had similar measurables to Andre Iguodala at the combine.
3/4 Court Sprint
Interesting because one is considered a slouch athletically and the other is considered a freak.
Turner will have his growing pains, but he'll survive by contributing in various ways. He can assume the role of go-to scorer or primary creator in the half-court. He can rebound and defend. And he can work on moving without the ball and allowing Holiday and/or Iguodala create offense for him.
Like most Sixers I'm interested in Turner's development under Collins. Collins isn't the greatest coach of all-time, but his teaching ability and ability to maximize players' potential are among the best.
My hope is that Turner takes on the role go-to scorer, allowing Iguodala to play to his strengths.
Up next: Jodie Meeks