By Theodore N. Beitchman
I am not surprised that some NBA general manager signed the underachieving, whining loser Evan Turner, who was chosen No. 2 overall in the 2010 NBA draft by the Sixers and proceeded to show everyone why GM Ed Stefanski would soon be fired.
But I am surprised that Danny Ainge, who has been portrayed as a semi-genius for having turned around the Celtics’ fortunes six years ago and won an NBA title, was the sucker.
Neither can Deadspin.com’s Albert Burneko:
“After a season in which their bottomed-out squad of plucky nobodies occasionally showed admirable spunk under first-year coach Brad Stevens, the Boston Celtics evidently decided they’d had enough of this not-being-hated-by-literally-everyone crap, and went out and signed ball-pounding avatar of hopelessness Evan Turner, whose game is basketball’s version of a wet fart.
“If the phrase ‘Evan Turner, Boston Celtic’ doesn’t make you want to puke and cry and raze the Northeast of all life, you’re probably Danny Ainge. The rest of us will be over here retching into our cupped elbows.”
Turner, 25, averaged 17.4 points (on 16 shots per game), 6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 54 games with the Sixers last season before being traded to the Indiana Pacers at the February trade deadline.
Then in 27 appearances with the Pacers, Turner averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists over 21.1 minutes per game.
Turner never received much playing time during his brief stint with the Pacers, who added him hoping to beef up their reserve unit heading into the playoffs.
However, Turner played just once — four total minutes — during the Eastern Conference finals, when Indiana lost to Miami in six games.
After that, the Pacers declined to extend Turner’s $8.7 million qualifying offer for next season, making him a free agent whose stock was nowhere near as high as it had been.
There’s no question that Turner is motivated to revitalize his career — and the Celtics, who only offered Turner a one-year contract, hope the change of scenery and the sight of familiar faces will help. In Boston, Turner will join fellow Ohio State standout Jared Sullinger and swingman Jeff Green — all of whom share Falk as an agent and dined together last week, Falk said.
Turner will also be under Stevens, the former Butler head coach. The two faced off twice when Turner was at Ohio State, with the Buckeyes winning in 2008 and Butler winning the year before.