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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Evan Turner Joins the Celtics' Island of Misfit Toys

While we continue to wait for the Celtics to do anything notable to save them from another Lottery-bound season, they continue to pile up mediocre to average players. Yesterday, reports surfaced that they signed free agent swingman Evan Turner by using part of their midlevel exception.

The No. 2 pick in 2010 (behind Washington's John Wall), Turner can't be labeled a bust-at least not yet-since he's put up decent numbers albeit on some mostly terrible squads. He played 3.5 seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to Indiana last season down the stretch where he mostly rode the bench for the Pacers. For his career, he's shot 43% from the floor, 33% on three-pointers and 77% from the free throw line. Haha great, another guy that can't shoot, just what the Celtics already have plenty of (Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey, etc).

In 2012-13 (his best season as a pro), Turner averaged 13.3 points per game with 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists with 0.9 steals per game. He's 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds so he's pretty solid for a small forward. He played 78 games his rookie season for Philly (14 starts), 65 the next year (20 starts), all 82 (started the whole way) in 2012-13 and 81 last season (56 starts but only 2 with Indiana) between the Sixers and Pacers. In the 2012 postseason, he averaged 11.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists with 0.9 steals per game as the Sixers fell to the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs.

This is a typical low-risk, high reward move for the Celts, what they seem to specialize in these days since the ping pong balls never seem to bounce their way and big-name free agents don't want to spend the winter buried under snow in New England. Like many in the NBA, Turner doesn't have the best reputation (fighting Lance Stephenson in practice during the playoffs) but the hope here is that he'll reconnect with his old Ohio State buddy Jared Sullinger and things will improve in his career.

Of course, this could all be part of Danny Ainge's mysterious plan to gain as many assets as possible before unloading them for a true star. That's what we hope at least because otherwise, it looks like it'll be another forgettable season for the Green and White.

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