The Celtics have too many guaranteed contracts, one needs to go before the season opens up against Philadelphia. So I ask, why can’t it be Evan Turner?
Sure, Turner did resurrect his career in dramatic fashion to become a vital force in the Celtics lineup as the point forward last year. While streaky at times, he did put up some gaudy box scores and his offensive versatility came in handy.
Turner averaged 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game while bursting out for three triple-doubles, which only Russell Westbrook and James Harden recorded more of, during the 14-15 campaign.
But despite all of this, the current state and direction of the Celtics don't seem to represent much of an opportunity for the veteran.
Brian Robb of CBS Boston addressed the Turner issue in his piece on Friday:
Despite the respectable performance, Turner’s overall style of play is not exactly ideal for a team like Boston that is predicated on pace-and-space. He takes a ton of mid-range shots, he’s overall a low percentage shooter (42.7 percent in his career), and he’s not reliable from beyond the arc (31.5 percent in his career). Turner fails to get to the free throw line regularly as well, making him on the whole, a rather inefficient scorer.
When you consider how long Turner has been stagnant with those deficiencies, it may be fair to assume he has leveled off as a pro as Robb did:
As he enters his sixth NBA season, it’s fair to assume you won’t see Turner make considerable strides to improve these parts of his game. He is what he is, a largely average NBA player, who can hurt your team on the defensive end and during off-shooting nights. He’s still a useful player on most teams, but on a squad like Boston, loaded with young talent in the backcourt, Turner’s presence next season creates a challenging conundrum for the front office and coaching staff.
All the above are legitimate reasons Turner should not be on the team, but most importantly his presence is hurting Marcus Smart's development.
Both shared the court as starters, but Turner averaged 4.4 minutes of ball possession per game compared to Smart’s 2.8. How can Smart develop further as a playmaker and the team cornerstone when Turner is stealing all of his ball time?
|Breakdown of Boston's ball time last year, disregard Rondo and Nelson of course. Courtesy NBA.com/stats|
The Celtics should continue to be a progressive team when it comes to their youth and to me Turner represents stagnancy. Think of these factors: Isaiah Thomas was the team’s most efficient player (22.3 player efficiency rating), Smart needs more time on the ball, the C’s gave Crowder significant money, and they traded for Perry Jones who showed intrigue before injury with Oklahoma.
There is simply no room for Evan Turner in Boston in 2015-16 and Danny Ainge should be making every effort to ship him out of town.
Follow Bobby Manning on Twitter @RealBobManning
Photo Credit: David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Bobby Manning 9/01/2015 06:00:00 AM Tweet Edit