Tuesday, July 22, 2014
C's & Turner Agree on New Deal
In an offseason in which Danny Ainge has quietly been reshaping his roster, he pulled the trigger on yet another low-risk, high reward move yesterday afternoon. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald first reported that the Celtics and free agent swingman Evan Turner had reached an agreement on Monday. The two sides who have been in contact with each other everyday since July 1st, have yet to release the terms of the deal which is said to be worth only a portion of the team's mid-level exception.
Turner, who was having his best year as a pro last season, led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring through the first 54 games (17.4 PPG / 6 RPG / 3.8 APG) before being moved to Indiana in exchange for Danny Granger at the trading deadline to help boost Frank Vogel's bench. The veteran however seemed to disrupt the chemistry of the Pacers' offense and never seemed to be a good fit like most thought he'd be. Turner's playing time went from nearly 35 minutes a game in Philly to barely 21 in Indy which led to his significant drop in points (7.1), rebounds (3.2) and assists (2.4). Once the postseason came around, he was in and out of the rotation while playing 12 minutes a game and even received a few DNP's, due to his coach's decision. It was clear Larry Bird would have no intentions of extending an $8.7 million offer, thus making Turner an unrestricted free agent.
The 25-year-old has career averages of 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists over his four years in the league. The second overall pick in the 2010 draft; is a versatile 6'7 guard/forward who is looking to raise his stock again which took a big hit once he was traded to the Pacers. In the past two seasons Turner has put on some great performances against the Celtics and at the TD Garden, which in a few months he will call home. We can't forget during the 2012 playoffs where he averaged nearly a double-double (10.7 PPG & 8.6 RPG) in the semifinals between the Sixers and C's that eventually went to seven games. Just this past January Turner also hit a buzzer beating field goal to beat Boston before being dealt to Indiana.
"I think he was probably the most undervalued free agent on the market," said Turner's agent David Falk. "Evan was in a dramatically different situation the day before the deadline than he was when he finished the year...This is a situation where he can come and grow as a player. I think Brad (Stevens) realizes he's a multi-dimensional player...Boston all along has been probably our number one destination." [Boston Herald]
Once official, this deal could end up being a steal for Ainge and the Celtics. Turner not only brings size to the wing position, but scoring and rebounding as well. Could this signing lead to bigger and better things in the next few weeks? It's possible. In the meantime Danny now will have 18 players on the current roster, with a payroll of nearly $80 million (approximately $3.2 million over the luxury tax). The three non-guaranteed contracts will definitely come into play to shred some salary, plus more moves are likely to be made before the start of the 2014-15 season.