Former Ohio State Star Evan Turner Motivated to Continue NBA Career
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio State basketball star Evan Turner, 2010 National Player of the Year, is certainly still motivated and looking to push his NBA career forward.
Turner, now a 10-year league veteran, was most recently dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves before the February trade deadline but will now become a free agent. The guard/small forward never suited up for the Wolves as the pandemic hit and the club was out of playoff contention.
“The physical part is all here,” a lighthearted Turner said while flexing and kissing his bicep. “I’m smooth. I took this time to try and let my body heal up from some nagging injuries that never felt good. The coronavirus brought everything to a halt, but you use lemons to make lemonade and keep situations beneficial. I have grown and gained a lot of positives during this time. I’m looking forward to next season and getting back to a winning team.”
The Chicago native was selected No. 2 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, spending almost four seasons with the club and appearing in 279 games.
He was averaging a career-high 17.4 points before finding himself as the key piece in a trade to the Indiana Pacers. ET’s stat line of 17 points, six rebounds and 3.7 assists leading up was shared by just four other players in the league (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin).
The 6-foot-7 Turner finished that season with Indiana and then spent two years in Boston, three in Portland and then a most-recent stint with the Atlanta Hawks. He has appeared in 705 total NBA games, including 63 postseason contests across eight different seasons. Four of those playoff trips saw him average double-digit scoring.
Due to COVID-19 adjusting the league schedule, NBA free agency will now start in October and the new season is slated to launch come December.
“I’ve been in Columbus just working out, staying low-key and enjoying my daughter,” said Turner, now 31 years old.
Turner, who played three seasons in Columbus, led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and ultimately had his No. 21 retired by the program. Regardless of where his professional career might take him next, he will always cherish his time at Ohio State.
“It’s definitely a spot where I grew to be a man,” Turner reflected. “Those are long-term relationships that set the foundation for who I have become, where I’m going and who I wanted to be with along the way. I met brothers at The Ohio State that have remained my backbone and support system. To me, those bonds are everything.”