16.5 wins isn’t what an NBA team is looking for in a season, but that is the number that the experts in Las Vegas said the Philadelphia 76ers would get after 82 games.
They are almost halfway there so far, and like every team in the East, at 7-17, a playoff run could still be possible for the Sixers, though unlikely. There have been a couple of bright spots for this team, one being the breakout season for guard Evan Turner.
Turner is putting up the best numbers of his career so far this season, averaging 20.4 points, 3.9 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game. The fourth year man out of Ohio State is also in the last year of his contract, so he is playing to get paid in the summer of 2014. The question is, will he return to the Sixers?
The Sixers have a young backcourt that has displayed a lot of potential this year. Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten and James Anderson have all had solid years so far, so this could have an influence on him returning or not. Some reports say the Sixers are open to trading Turner so they could get some value out of him instead of just losing him for nothing. He was named in reports a couple of weeks ago when the Cavaliers said they are open to trading Dion Waiters as a possible piece to go to Cleveland.
Turner’s shooting is also improving, shooting a career high 45.2% from the field, the highest of any guard on the team. He brings versatility with rebounds and assists, and he also gets one steal per game. Turner is slowly becoming one of the best free agent options this summer outside of the big stars. He will demand a good amount of money and multiple years, so if the Sixers think they can get something better for their future, trading him would be a good idea. He is still young at 25 years old, and the Sixers are a young team still looking to build for the future, so if they think he could be their best fit at the shooting guard position they wouldn’t be losing progress in the rebuilding process by signing him to multiple years. Maybe trading a guy like Wroten, who is only 20 years old and averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game, might be an option for the Sixers if they want to keep Turner, unless Wroten’s promising start is a reason they would want to let Turner go.
As a young team with a good amount of raw talent in the backcourt, I would expect that one of the current guards on their roster will likely not be on the team next year, via either a trade or Turner leaving in free agency. For Turner, if he continues to improve and put up these kind of numbers, there will be a lot of interest in him for the next few months.