At 15-33 the Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be sellers at the NBA trade deadline, and it appears the team is putting one of its most valuable chips on the market.
Turner is a restricted free agent this offseason, and the report indicates that if Philly does not plan to extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer to him then it makes sense to put him on the trading block. In January, the Delco Times reported Turner is not a part of the Sixers’ plans going forward and the team is “unlikely” to make a qualifying offer to him.
One team mentioned as a possible landing spot is Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City. The Thunder reportedly have shown interest in Turner earlier in the year, and because the team owns the Dallas Mavericks’ draft pick this year they may have enough ammo to strike a deal.
The Phoenix Suns may also have interest. The Suns, who have been linked to Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol, have a surplus of first-round draft picks. Both teams have engaged in discussions already, though nothing really transpired.
Turner is enjoying a career year in Philadelphia. The fourth-year professional and former No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State is averaging 18.1 points points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He’s shooting 43.5 percent from the floor, though he has converted just 28.6 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Despite being in the midst of his best campaign to date, Turner isn’t surprised to hear his name mentioned in trade talks.
“I never expected to get a contract extension, especially when we switched GMs, you know?” Turner told the Sporting News. “I always said, Mr. Hinkie is going to do what he wants to do, and he has his own vision and everything like that. So when you trade an All-Star like Jrue (Holiday), I mean, what occurs next isn’t going to surprise me. I was just trying my best to keep focused, keep helping the team win and getting better.”
Philadelphia head coach Brian Brown echoed Turner’s sentiment, stating he was surprised the team’s young roster had remained together this long.