The Spurs made a deadline-day effort to trade for Evan Turner before the Sixers sent him to the Pacers instead, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. A rival executive made public mention the Spurs as a possible destination for Turner a couple of weeks in advance of the deadline, but aside from that, there wasn’t much chatter connecting San Antonio to the former No. 2 overall pick.
Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star shortly after the deadline that he didn’t think the Sixers were able to find a team willing to give up a first-round pick for Turner, the asset Philadelphia was seeking. The Sixers instead wound up with Danny Granger, whom they later waived in a buyout agreement, and a 2015 second-round pick. It’s unclear exactly what the Spurs offered, but since Philly is left with only a second-rounder to show for Turner at this point, the Sixers might have been better off dealing with San Antonio.
The only deadline move the Spurs made was swapping Nando De Colo to the Raptors for Austin Daye. San Antonio was also in the mix to acquire Granger after he bought his way off the Sixers, but he signed with the Clippers instead. Still, the Spurs sit atop the NBA with a 47-16 record, a half-game ahead of Turner and the Pacers. Turner will become a free agent at season’s end, and if Indiana’s wary that Turner might accept a qualifying offer of more than $8.7MM for next season, the Pacers may decline to make that tender and turn him into an unrestricted free agent. The report linking San Antonio to Turner early last month suggested that the Spurs might have been just as interested in acquiring him via free agency as they were in trading for him at the deadline.