Prospect Profiles: Evan Turner

05/02/2010 11:35 AM - 

Contributed by Mike Gallagher

There isn’t much of an argument about who the most NBA-ready player is in this year’s draft. Evan Turner won the Naismith Player of the Year award without a worthy adversary in the field. Turner is coming out as a Junior at Ohio State, so the extra experience is the main reason why he is so ripe for the picking in July.

What we like:
The best thing about Evan Turner can been seen as soon as he hits the hardwood. He stands 6-foot-7 and tips the scales at 210. He is still young and it’s likely he can put on at least 10 pounds of muscle and crack that 220 threshold. His size will draw some comparisons to guys like Joe Johnson (6’7”) and Brandon Roy (6’6”).
E.T. is also an exceptional passer. He was top-10 in the nation with six APG per game. Turner had the ball in his hands for the vast majority of the time the Buckeyes had the ball, so this shouldn’t come as a total surprise. Turner did a lot of drive-and-kicks, but was also able to get his teammates easy shots around the rim.
You thought six APG was a nice stat? Turner sucked in an industrial-strength vacuum-like 9.2 rebounds per night. Turner was very aggressive on the glass and even pulled down two boards per game on the offensive end. He does a great job following his own shot when he is in attack mode and has a good feel for where the ball is going when it leaves his teammates’ hands.
Assists and rebounds are nice, but points are still what wins basketball games. The Burner scored 20.4 PPG and shot a very impressive 52 percent from the floor. The 20.4 is a bit on the low side, but by taking into account that he played in the slow-paced Big 10, 20.4 seems phenomenal. Turner had very good shot selection throughout his Junior season and really only had one stinker. That stinker was a 2-of-13 showing against UC Santa Barbara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Turner has a pretty quick first step and didn’t really have any issues to getting to the rim against the opposition. Of course it helps being 6’7” and 210 playing against a bunch of college kids. Turner did most of his damage around the rim, but he showcased his mid-range game at times.
Turner was also a very polished defender in Columbus. He added some fantasy-friendly D-digits with 1.7 steals and one block per game. He make a lot of those steals in one-on-one defense and his got in the face of the ball hander much like the way Shane Battier has done in years past.
Finally, if you’re going to get to the free throw line by attacking the rim, then you had better be able to hit some free throws. Turner didn’t disappoint by making 76 percent of his attempts in his Junior year (79 percent for Sophomore season).

What we don’t like:
4.4. That’s the number of turnover he had per game. Yikes. Turner even had two games where he turned the ball over a jaw-dropping 10 times. That really is unacceptable even though the Buckeyes won both of those games. He will of course get better, but an NBA coach won’t be tolerating that type of careless ball handling.
Turner was a marksman from deep in his Sophomore year with 44 percent made from behind the arc. His Junior season saw that number drop to 36 percent. That can be attributed to being more closely covered by the opposition. He will get more space from defenders in the NBA, but the deeper three-point line will counteract that advantage. Unless Turner works on his shot extensively this summer, he might not be attempting more than two bombs per game.

Fantasy prospects:
There’s no doubt that Turner will be highly coveted in all fantasy drafts. He has everything a fantasy owner would want with offense, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and threes. It really doesn’t matter where his ultimate destination is and he will likely become the second scoring option regardless of team. As mention earlier, Brandon Roy is a comparable player to convey his very high ceiling. Roy was the most NBA-ready player when he came out, and didn’t disappoint with a line of 17-4-4 with some steals and threes en route to winning the Rookie of the Year. Those numbers actually seem like a floor for Turner and his ceiling could be in the neighborhood of 20-5-5 like Tyreke Evans posted last year. If Turner goes to the right team, he could be a top-50 player and worthy of a top-60 selection. Long term keeper league owners will be taking Turner in the first round. Look out fantasy world, this guy is going to be a force for a very long time.

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