In what could potentially have been his final game in a 76ers uniform, Evan Turner turned in a 3-14 shooting performance from the field, as the Sixers lost their ninth straight game, being blown out by a really bad Cleveland Cavaliers team 114-85.
The rumor mill will come to a halt within the next 30 hours, as the Sixers will have to decide on the over-analyzed future of Evan Turner with the team, before tomorrow’s 3:00 EST trade deadline.
Speaking on Turner’s future yesterday, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher (formerly of ESPN) specifically pointed to the Charlotte Bobcats as a team that would be interested in Turner.
*You can watch Bucher analyze Turner’s future an other trade deadline speculation here. The Turner discussion begins at 2:49.*
Bucher says that the Bobcats are “aggressively looking” to add a player like Turner who can score from the perimeter.
From the Bobcats perspective, the idea of giving up a first-round pick for a player who will likely be a rental player, just for a shot to squeak into the playoffs in a historically weak Eastern Conference, sounds like one foolish idea to me. Then again, Michael Jordan doesn’t exactly have noted executive skills.
For the Sixers, trading Turner to the Bobcats for a first-round pick would be about as good as it gets. Even if the Bobcats make the playoffs, their pick will likely turn into a pick between 12-17, in what has been touted as a stacked draft. Assuming the Pelicans’ pick (which the Sixers acquired for Jrue Holiday) doesn’t end up being a top-five pick, that would give the Sixers three picks in the top 20 (possibly top 15).
Remember the first-round order in the NBA Draft, after the top three picks, is chosen by record. So if the season ended today, the Bobcats would make the playoffs, but they would have the 19th best record in the NBA. Barring some sort of miracle (or the lottery being rigged), the Bobcats wouldn’t have a top-five pick, and a trade would land the Sixers with the 12th pick in the draft. (That is going off of the assumption that the Bobcats would trade a top-five protected pick for Turner, which is almost a certainty)
Certainly, it is possible that teams in the Western Conference such as the Timberwolves (who could trade Kevin Love) or the Nuggets, falter in the second half, or decide that they want to join the tanking club that seems to cover about half of the NBA, and finish with a record worse than the Bobcats. But even in that scenario, the Sixers would still be looking at picking around 15.
So if the Bobcats want to ship the Sixers a first-round pick, for a shot at just their second playoff birth in franchise history, let them. The idea of the Sixers landing the number one pick is becoming very possible, and the Pelicans pick could turn into a top ten pick as well (currently the 11th pick). If you add another top 15 pick, the Sixers would be set to have a franchise defining draft in 2014, that would add onto the nucleus general manager Sam Hinkie has already began to build with last year’s selections of Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.