If Stotts' handling of the point guard situation last season is any indication, the Blazers likely won't lean on Turner very often as a third-string option at the position, as Damian Lillard and McCollum frequently covered all 48 minutes at the position on most nights. Instead, Stotts' comfort with Turner at the position is perhaps more troubling to Shabazz Napier, whose roster spot could be in jeopardy if the Trail Blazers decide to prioritize keeping an extra big man rather than another point guard who wouldn't normally factor into the rotation. Turner is still expected to see most of his time at small forward during the upcoming season, but will have to hold off Allen Crabbe for starting honors.
Updating an earlier report,
It was believed that Turner signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Blazers earlier this month with the presumption that he'd be in line for a starting role after previously serving as the Celtics' sixth man, but coach Terry Stotts will apparently wait until training camp before announcing who will start on the wing opposite shooting guard C.J. McCollum. Turner still seems like the leading candidate for that role due to his willingness to distribute and ability to handle the ball, but after the Blazers were able to retain fellow swingman Allen Crabbe by matching his four-year, $75 million offer sheet, a competition for starting duties could ensue. No matter who ends up receiving the starting nod, both Turner and Crabbe should both be in line for 20-plus minutes per game on a Blazers squad lacking in depth on the wings.
Turner, who agreed to a four-year, $70 million contract Friday with the Trail Blazers, was told he would open the season as the team's starting small forward, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports.
After serving in a starting role for most of the first five seasons of his career, Turner settled in as the sixth man for the Celtics in 2015-16, coming off the bench for 69 of 81 regular-season contests and averaging 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals across 28.0 minutes per game. The main deficiency in Turner's game is his lack of three-point range, but that trait shouldn't be a major issue while he plays alongside the potent backcourt combination of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, both of whom are proficient from downtown. Instead, Turner will use his 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame and ranginess to make most of his impact as a defender and rebounder. With the ball in his hands less often, Turner's fantasy numbers could suffer, but he still profiles as a good fit with the Blazers in real-life terms.
Turner agreed to a four-year, $70 million deal with Portland Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports.
After striking out on Chandler Parsons, the Trail Blazers decided to go in the direction of Turner. The 27-year-old brings a diverse skill set to the court with the ability to score, rebound and distribute at a high level, and he is coming off a 2015-16 season where he averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in a reserve role with Boston. Most importantly, however, may be Turner's ability as a perimeter defender, something Portland is in desperate need of, and the wing should fit in nicely as either a starter or off the bench for the Blazers.
Evan Turner struggled to score eight points (4-17 FG, 0-4 3Pt) in the series-ending Game 6 loss to Atlanta. He also posted seven rebounds and four assists.
Turner's shooting woes personified Boston's offensive struggles. Atlanta's rugged perimeter defense highlighted the Boston Celtics ' lack of true scorers. Turner enters the off-season as an unrestricted free agent, seeking a much bigger contract that the team friendly deal he signed in 2014.
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