On June 24, the Atlanta Hawks announced that one its stars Kent Bazemore would be traded to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for Evan Turner. Originally, Turner thought he might have been traded to an East Coast team, but life had other plans.
For a number of reasons, this could be a good move for the Blazers former small forward. Turner will reunite with his 76ers family coach Lloyd Pierce and coaching assistant Greg Foster which will provide him some much-needed comfortability. It will also provide closer proximity to his one-year-old daughter, Aubrey, who resides in South Carolina.
Turner announced during a press conference that he was elated to join the Hawks current and much younger roster. Though not a franchise player, Turner knows which lane to stay in and the role he has to play.
“I’ll be used to, for the most part, take the pressure off people,” Turner said. “So, I comprehend, you know, whatever the plays are, who needs to get the ball. It’ll be like a blue-collar role.”
Tuner, 30, may be the oldest on the Hawks line-up but isn’t worried about his age stopping his skillset on the court.
“I don’t really go into a locker room and think ‘you’re too young,’” he said. “I try to figure out a way to relate to people.”
Although Turner is decent at taking on various roles as a backup, his numbers aren’t exactly page worthy. He’s able to help make smoother transitions on the court, but that doesn’t speak well on his scoring.
Turner only averaged 3.5 assists per game during his career with the Blazers. However, during his 2014-15 career with the Boston Celtics, he only averaged 5.5 assists per game which for him was a height winner for his profession.
He originally had a four-year $70 million dollar deal with the Blazers and had just finished his third season. During his last year, Turner only averaged 6.8 points, 3.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. He’s slated to make $18.6 million during his next season with the Hawks.
Pierce believes Tuner is a player who can “back up everybody” due to his versatility, which will aid in the newly drafted Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter having help.
Teams gain from having vets protect their rookies. The addition of Turner will do just that.