Evan Turner’s draft stock appears to be slipping in light of the recent developments in Philadelphia. The 76er’s appear to be more impressed with Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins, and will probably select one of the big men in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Many of the experts feel Favors will be the second pick in the draft behind John Wall. If this scenario plays out that means Turner will slide to New Jersey at three. The Nets are also in the market for a big man, but with several free agents available, most notably Carlos Boozer and Amare Stoudemire, Turner will be a steal here.
Turner has the ability to play the one, two or three in the NBA, giving any team some options when they draft him. He averaged 20.1 points 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per contest last season with Ohio State. His 6’7’’ 214 pound frame would make an ideal guard, but he needs to bulk up some for the small forward.
Wesley Johnson is another player that may leap frog turner if the Nets decide to pass on Turner. Even if this happens I just do not see Turner falling out of the top 5 in the draft this year. He is too versatile a player on both ends of the court to slide very far.
Turner still has time to impress teams during these pre-draft workouts. His long range jump shot and ball handling have been brought into question these past few months. These workouts are the ideal situations to show NBA scouts there have little to worry about.
Regardless of when he gets drafted Turner needs to continue building strength and improve his shooting, not just on the perimeter but inside the arc as well. He has been compared to a Brandon Roy type of player, and that is something he definitely has the talent to become.
When asked how he saw Turner in the NBA, Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta replied, “Evan doesn’t want to just play in the NBA, he wants to be a great player and have a great career.” Turner has shown his desire be on the court, both by changing positions going into his junior year and quickly recovering from his back injury earlier in the year.
Turner’s draft stock may be slipping, but that could end up being a regretful situation for the teams that chose to pass over him. He has shown he has the leadership skills, the desire to learn and get better, and the heart of a competitor. When a team draft’s Turner they are getting a starter probably at day one. He is not a project at any level and with the amount of money involved in the decision that is something teams should not skip over.