It’s February and we all know what that means – NBA Trade talk. The deadline brings all the rumors to life and with social media on the scene now, nothing gets past NBA fans. The most recent rumor involving the Oklahoma City Thunder is an Evan Turner trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, so let’s have a look at what could transpire.
After losing James Harden and the Kevin Martin, it was understood that the Thunder might be in the market for a shooting guard who could provide some offensive firepower. However as the season has gone on and the Thunder have the best record in the NBA, this no longer seems like such an issue. Jeremy Lamb has developed into a budding young star, Reggie Jackson has continued his progression from the playoffs last year when he was thrust into the starting lineup and Serge Ibaka has become a legitimate third option. Add to this the exceptional season Kevin Durant is putting together and there no longer seems to be that dire need for another scorer.
In saying that, when a player like Evan Turner is on the market, you do your due diligence and I am sure the Thunder front office are looking into this one closely. Turner has the ability to play the shooting guard and small forward role, depending on lineups and the opposition. He can handle to ball and put up points in a hurry and although he is not the most efficient scorer, he can create his own shot and get to the rim – skills that the Thunder second unit could really use.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in a state of rebuild and being able to get some assets for Turner would be high on their priority list. The Thunder have a first round draft pick (from Dallas if outside the top 20) to offer and a few younger guys, but is there really anything that the Sixers would want in return? And, would the Thunder really be interested in making a deal such as this when they are really playing great basketball and there is no guarantee that Evan Turner stays after his four month stint?
Rumors are pretty shaky at the best of times and this one seems a little flimsy. While there is no doubt the Thunder would love to get someone like Turner and turn him into a sixth man extraordinaire, there is no guarantee that Turner would be happy playing a supporting role or coming off the bench. Oklahoma City would also have to give up pieces to get him and while everyone on the internet seems to think we can just “trade Perkins”, they don’t understand that other teams have to a) want Perk and b) be willing to pay his $8mill salary.
Considering the Sixers are already trying to ship Spencer Hawes, I doubt they want Kendrick Perkins – especially with Nerlens Noel coming back to the fray. Perk could play a vital defensive and toughness role for the young team though and give Noel some protection against the bigger bodies, but I just don’t see it happening. Draft picks are valuable in the 2014 draft though and the Sixers will want assets so perhaps that is enough to at least bring the two teams to the table.
So you can probably mark this one down to “just a rumor”. While it does make sense from an OKC point of view, there just seem to be far too many better options for the Sixers. And if the Thunder ended up getting Turner for next to nothing, they would almost certainly become favorites for the NBA Championship – surely plenty of teams will be wanting to stop this from happening!