nice article I did not see posted. good quotes from DWEST on Turner (and Bynum).
Turner Hoping To “Fit In”
by Mark Montieth | email@example.com
February 23, 2014
The most important quote of the year so far among the Pacers goes to Evan Turner, who made his practice debut with his new teammates on Sunday.
“Hopefully I'll earn my minutes and be able to play,” he said.
“I'm going to keep my eyes and my ears open. Try to walk the way they walk and get used to their foundation and standards.”
Turner – the centerpiece of the transaction that sent Danny Granger to Philadelphia for Turner and Lavoy Allen and forced the release of Orlando Johnson – was a consensus first-team All-American in college, the national player of the year according to some organizations, the second pick in the 2010 NBA draft, and Philadelphia's leading scorer this season (17.4). He's accustomed not only to starting, but to starring.
So, can he fit in as a role player likely to get 20-25 minutes off the bench?
Whether or not he backs up his words with action and attitude likely will be the key to the success of the deal.
Turner and Allen participated in a pre-practice video session and then went through the halfcourt offense along with Andrew Bynum, Donald Sloan and Solomon Hill Sunday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Turner will be thrown into the fray on Tuesday against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers and get Granger's backup minutes at small forward – probably 20-25 according to coach Frank Vogel. Allen will not be in the playing rotation at first.
Team president Larry Bird, who executed the trade deadline deal, likes the versatility Turner brings to the Pacers' offense. Granger had become little more than a jump shooter following his knee surgery last season, unable to create shots for himself or finish drives to the basket. Turner is not as good a three-point threat, hitting just 28 percent of those shots, but can score in more ways.
“He does a little bit of everything,” Bird said on Sunday. “He can play multiple positions. I like the way he handles the ball, moves the ball.
“It's hard to compare the two, but I think it's a good fit for us. The more we go along, the more you'll see what he can do for this team.”
Paul George, the Pacers' leading scorer, welcomes the addition of Turner. They became friends while preparing for the 2010 draft, and have remained in contact since then. As long as Turner is willing to give up some minutes and shots, George believes it will work out well.
“He's got to be able to make that sacrifice,” George said. “A lot of guys did on this team, so it's no different for him. He's got to do that as well to start off and we'll go from there.”
There's irony to Turner joining a team led by George. Turner was the second pick in the 2010 draft. He' s played well, but has not received individual recognition in the NBA beyond playing in the Rising Stars game over All-Star Weekend two seasons. George, who was drafted 10th, was voted the league's Most Improved Player a year ago and is a two-time All-Star – a starter this season.
Asked about that on Sunday, George interrupted the questioner and pointed out that Turner is “now on my team.”
It's George's team more than anyone else's, and Turner will have to live with that.
Turner, though, brings intriguing talent and potential to the Pacers' bench. And he's not that far removed from coming off the bench, having started just 14 games as a rookie and 20 the following season.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I'm just going to try to fit in and earn minutes.”
The most intriguing thing about Turner is his fearlessness. He scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench in his first NBA game. He had a double-double in his first start. He scored 31 earlier this season against Cleveland, and hit a game-tying shot with 8.7 seconds left in the first overtime. He also scored a career-high 34 against the Knicks on Jan. 22. And, he hit game-winning buzzer beaters against the Nets and the Celtics this season.
He also hit a 37-foot game-winning three-pointer to beat Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at Bankers Life four years ago, his junior year at Ohio State.
“I had a great weekend that weekend,” Turner said. “Hopefully I have a great few months (here).”
If the Pacers make as deep a playoff run as they hope, Turner should have plenty of opportunities to hit more big shots.
“Evan Turner's a helluva player, man,” David West said. “I think he's going to help us tremendously. He adds a shot-creator and he's a big-moment guy. People overlook that about him. He's hit some game-winners. He's not scared of those moments.”
Allen Will Have To Be Patient
Allen will have to make an even greater sacrifice than Turner, at least at first. After averaging 18.8 minutes per game with the 76ers this season, he'll likely be out of the rotation with the Pacers unless a power forward is injured.
He knows that, and prefers it to playing a lot of minutes with a losing team.
“This team has been together for awhile,” he said. “I think it's going to take some time to get in there. That just means I have to be prepared and come in here and get some extra conditioning and be ready when my name is called.”
Allen averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds with Philadelphia, and scored a career-high 20 at Sacramento last season. But he's known primarily for defense. He had an eye-opening turn against Kevin Garnett in the second round of the playoffs two years ago, when the 76ers were within one game of reaching the conference finals.
“That's definitely something I pride myself in,” he said. “That's one of the reasons I've made it this far.”
Allen – the 50th player taken in the 2011 draft – drew high praise from 76ers teammate Andre Iguodala during that series.
“He's definitely shown up big for us in these playoffs," Iguodala said then. “He's one of those under-the-radar guys coming out of the draft, kind of like Paul Millsap or Carlos Boozer. Coming out, they just fell under the radar. Then when you put them in a position to just do their job, they excel.”
The consensus among the Pacers is that you can never have enough capable big men, and Allen add another to their roster.
“He's a good player, not just a throw-in,” Vogel said.
But What About The Chemistry?
The Pacers seemed to have outstanding chemistry this season, both on the court and in the locker room. Now that they've shaken up the roster, adding Bynum, Turner and Allen and subtracting Granger and Johnson, they're a different team.
Most league observers agree they have more talent after the transactions. But will they get along as well? Will they play together as well.
“We have a great group of guys already who like one another and like playing with one another and are like brothers in there, so I'm sure they're going to accept that and fit right in with us,” George Hill said.
“We'll be fine,” West added. “Andrew's been here for three weeks and he's fit in fine. Lavoy and Evan are good guys. They understand what's expected of them. Our locker room is strong. There's not going to be a lot of room for guys coming in slacking. Everyone knows their responsibility.”
Bird, who made the deals that altered the makeup, is not concerned.
“You never know, but I don't worry about that stuff,” he said. “I played on a lot of teams and we made a lot of changes. I can remember (Celtics team president Red Auerbach) called me in and traded my best friend on the team. I was upset about it until I found out who he had traded him for. Then I was very happy.”
Bird declined to say who that friend was. The best guess is that it was Rick Robey, who was traded for Dennis Johnson before the 1983-84 season. Robey and Bird were tight, but Johnson helped the Celtics to two more championships during Bird's career. Bird called him the best teammate he had ever had.
More Praise For Orlando
Bird joined the chorus of praise for Orlando Johnson, who had to be dropped to make room on the roster for Turner and Allen.
Bird had moved up in the 2012 draft to take Johnson, and gave him a two-year guaranteed contract, rare for a second-round pick. But a sacrifice had to be made to execute Thursday's trade with Philadelphia.
“It was very difficult,” Bird said. “One of the nicest kids you'll ever meet. Very hard worker. Maybe in the future we can get him back here. There's no guarantee, but you never know what's going to happen.”
Johnson sent the following tweet after his release:
Winning championships might help a GM decide to keep his core players, or it might not. That's what makes Pop and the Spurs so special. They've kept them and still remained competitive despite their age and declining talents. They've had to be creative with their acquisitions, but they haven't sacrificed their principles for more talent.
Well, I hope this trade works out.
I think Turner's definitely the best player in the deal, but sometimes it doesn't work out. Granger shot poorly this season, but he was still a threat and drew the defense out, which helped with spacing.
I think he and Lance can do well without the ball, but there will be occasions where both players are on the floor and teams will probably pack the paint.
Granger was moving poorly on defense and getting lost, but he was a lot better on the interior than Turner. Otherwise, Turner's a better perimeter defender and a better rebounder.
*EDIT* Also, fwiw, Granger skipped today's practice in Philadelphia.
Last edited by imawhat; 02-23-2014 at 09:51 PM.
So...you don't think it "helped"? It's kinda hard for you to say what the Pacers would of done if Granger was more like Duncan, or what the Spurs would of done if Duncan was more like Granger. Who's to say that the Spurs wouldn't have traded Duncan if he was championship-less, coming off a 1 1/2 season injury, was a shell of his former self, was probably gonna be off the team in a few months anyway, and it could improve the team's chance to win a championship.
I'm sorry, but I don't really see the comparison between Granger and the 3 Spurs.
It's hard to say whether winning championships "helped" the Spurs keep their big three in tact because we've seen teams win championships and dismantle their instrumental pieces anyway, and we've also seen teams not win championships and still keep their longest tenured and most respected players.
The key difference is that Duncan/Parker/Manu have all remained extremely productive for a very long time, whereas Granger went downhill fast and became a shell of himself at age 30. The Spurs keeping those 3 guys isn't because they treat their long tenured players better than the Pacers, it's instead because those 3 players have continued to help them win for a very long time. None of them have really declined that much. Sure Duncan can't score in the 20's anymore, but he still averages a very respectable 15.8 PPG, rebounds like hell, and has a strong defensive presence. Parker is still a complete stud. Age has caught up to Manu a little bit, but he is still a pretty solid player. Even though all of these guys are older than Granger, none of them have declined at the rapid rate he did. It sucks that it happened to DG, but it unfortunately is what it is.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 02-23-2014 at 11:36 PM.
And considering how extremely productive they've been, that would make them even more valuable in a trade than Granger. Pop could have pulled the trigger like Bird, in hopes of using one of his veterans to retool with younger talent, but he hasn't, despite their inability to get over the hump. 7 years have gone by with the same core without a championship. They're not getting any younger, yet Pop hasn't traded them. The Pacers had one shot at the Finals last year, without Granger. This year, they seemed improved, had the #1 seed, and could have seen how Granger would have helped, even at a shell of himself as you say, though perhaps he would have improved as the season wore on. We'll never know as they chose not to reward their longest tenured and most respected player with that opportunity.
Simply put, Bird pulled the trigger too soon. He should have given this group their opportunity without bringing in all these reinforcements. What did the Heat do to get better from last year? Sign Greg Oden? We CLEARLY got better. Why panic? Why force these players to adapt to new teammates with 20 games to go? For more talent on paper? For Evan Turner, who the Sixers had no intention of resigning and their fan base was more than happy to see leave? Time will tell if it was a good move, of course, but we know from history that teams don't win championships on talent alone. This team put in the work as a unit during the summer. They deserved their rematch, without Bynum and Turner.
I really think that he did the trade with reason of getting some sort of leverage on lance. The pacers before the trade didn't have anyone close to what lance brought the team. He had all the leverage, now if the price is too high for lance or decides to leave to be the man. You have turner that can be part of that core.
In the last 7 years, the Spurs have won a lot of games, made a few Conference Finals, and even made it to Game 7 of the NBA Finals. That's why the Spurs have kept that three man core. It's not like the Celtics last year where they were done competing with Pierce and Garnett. The Spurs are still making deep playoff runs. It's been 7 years since Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl and 9 since Tom Brady won his last one, yet I think that they have still been worth rostering.
Our team doesn't revolve around the mindset of being sympathetic towards Granger and giving him the opportunity to play in the playoffs at the expense of upgrading the team. Bird had the opportunity to make the team better. It cannot be argued that we got a player who is considerably better than Granger right now, plus we also got a big guy who could be useful for some fouls in a playoff series. The Heat might not have done much this year, but they did upgrade the team last year after winning that 2012 championship. They added Ray Allen and Chris Andersen, both of whom were very important in their 2013 playoff run. We hope that Bynum can have an Andersen-like impact this season, and we hope that Evan Turner can be even better than Ray Allen was for them.
If the defending champion Heat felt it was necessary to upgrade their bench after the 2012 season, then the Pacers should certainly try to upgrade their team too. You don't refuse upgrades to the team just because you made the Conference Finals a year ago. This isn't a "panic move". A "panic move" would have been trading a Hill or Stephenson. The starting unit who took the Heat to 7 games will get their rematch against the Heat. Everyone who has left the team since last season had virtually nothing to do with us taking the Heat to 7 games (aside from DJ giving us some solid playoff minutes here and there). We haven't beat the Heat yet and will be going up against one of the best players in NBA history. The team needs to be as perfect as possible and Bird seized the opportunity to clearly improve the team. You don't refuse an opportunity to get better just because you are worried about hurting feelings.
How did Bird pull the trigger "too soon"? It's been about 21 months since Danny Granger was last a good player. This current season started four months ago, and Granger is barely good enough to be the 8th man on a quality team. He can't shoot or create his own shot. I understand the sentimental feelings and loyalty to him, but he is really just a name at this point.
Eh, sorry. But this bench has not been getting it done for about a month to a month and a half now. Granger was as shell of himself, and having some much needed insurance for bench scoring let alone the Lance contract ordeal... This thing is a home run.
I understand everyone is ridiculously sentimental. I get it. I have 6 Granger jerseys I had to box up over the weekend. It's really tough. But Larry has done everything the right way lately and look where that has gotten us. I mean if everyone wants to sit and wallow in the past, by all means... be my guest. This fanbase has been doing that since 2005 for the most part up until recently.
Danny's effort and leadership will not go unnoticed. But saying he and whoever was owed an opportunity to go up against Miami one more time is ridiculous.
Hello everybody. Long time no see.
I would love to say thank you to Danny. Unfortunate to see him lose his shot. I have got a suite in Philly in March to see us play the Sixers and will definitely be rocking my Granger 33. That said, this deal gives us two guys who have young legs and will improve our depth.
The most underrated part of this deal is that the Sixers get out of about $19M in rookie deal cap holds this summer which will allow them to decline Granger's Bird Rights immediately and have the cap space to add a max level player and on top of that a top five draft pick.
"Your course, your path, is not going to be like mine," West says. "Everybody is not called to be a multimillionaire. Everybody's not called to be the president. Whatever your best work is, you do it. Do it well. … You cease your own greatness when you aspire to be someone else."
Granger gave his front tooth for the team (I'll never forget him playing through that)made me a lifetime Granger fan, but the chance to win a title for a small market team is so rare you have to do everything to maximize the chance. Since 1980, thats 34 championships, only nine teams have won. Philly,Dallas once. Houston twice, Miami, Detroit three, S.A. Boston four, Chicago six, and LAL ten. Point being not many small markets get this chance "EVER".
I'm 50 and I have never felt we had a chance at the ring until this year (thrilled during last finals appearance but just didn't think we had enough for the Lakers). We all watched Danny and it was obvious he was never going to be the same, not this year anyway. Congradulations to us, that Bird and Simon are going for it.
Lets be real here, its wasn't just the bench, Granger's poor play didn't cause PG to go into a month long slump. Didn't cause Hibbert to completely disappear on offense. Didn't cause George Hill to disappear. Didn't cause Scola to slump on his jumper(hurt elbow), CJ Watson's terrible shot selection. The only 2 players who have been playing somewhat consistent over the past month is West and Lance. Lance is playing well but some nights at a complete detriment to the team, stealing rebounds, calling his own number early in the shot clock.
Certainly wasn't Danny Granger's fault that this team got waxed by the Suns twice, and dismantled by the Wolves, or gave up a huge lead to Orlando, and not to mention he played well against Dallas.
Granger is a victim of the rest of the team playing like complete garbage.
You can't get champagne from a garden hose.
So he wouldnt' have been traded if the team was winning?
The sixers called the Pacers and if you believe Bird we were not actively shopping him so that doesn't follow your narrative.
We all know Bird has longed wanted a scorer off the bench that can create his own shot since he first took office. We were interested in OJ Mayo, Barbosa, Crawford, so I think it makes much more sense to believe Danny was a victim of him being a poor 6th man on a championship level team than the team overall just playing poorly for a couple of months.