Sixers still waiting on Turner

Former Ohio State standout remains inconsistent in third NBA season.

CLEVELAND -- They say you should be able to get an accurate read on an NBA player after three seasons.

But three seasons after selecting Evan Turner with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers are still waiting.

Turner came out of Ohio State as a top-notch scorer who was considered capable of playing three positions -- small forward, shooting guard, and even point guard in a pinch.

He’s still proving capable of that. What Turner isn’t proving is if he can excel at any spot. For the most part, he’s been solid at all -- and that’s it.

Nothing wrong with that. Unless, of course, you’re drafted second overall.

“He’s had his ups and downs,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said when asked if Turner has been more consistent this season. “It’s an area where he still needs to grow.”

Turner is 6-foot-7 and averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, and shooting 42 percent from the floor. The Sixers (28-43) have struggled mightily after the hyped trade for center Andrew Bynum.

He came with lots of hope, but has yet to play a game following a knee injury. His contract expires at season’s end, and there’s no hints about where Bynum will go or for how much.

Turner, however, is likely to be back in Philly. And next year is when the Sixers are hoping his play reaches another level.

“It’s been an adjustment for him to go from 26-27 minutes a game (last season) to 36 minutes this year,” Collins said. “So it’s been a good growing year for both him and (point guard Jrue) Holiday. We’ll expect more from them next year.”

Holiday is averaging 18.4 points and 8.5 assists, and made the All-Star team. There’s little question about his potential.

But as far as Turner, what will become of Bynum, and even if Collins returns to the bench … well, those are all major offseason issues facing the Sixers, who entered the season with some serious expectations.

“I’ve always liked Evan,” said Cavaliers coach Byron Scott. “He can play the two or three, and a little point guard as well.”

How well, however, still remains up for debate.

Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO

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