Former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner is among those eligible for a rookie-scale extension this summer, but he understands that in GM Sam Hinkie's rebuilding project, the Sixers could trade him before he has a chance to re-up with the team. "All I can worry about is being better," Turner said to Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com.
Hinkie made a splash right after accepting the Sixers' GM position when he sent All-Star Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans on draft night in exchange for the pick that turned into Nerlens Noel and a 2014 top-3 protected first round selection. But now the Sixers are supposedly in tank mode in preparation for that exciting 2014 NBA Draft, and Hinkie may have positioned them for two lottery selections, depending on how they finish this season.
It stands to reason that Turner could be cast out before he's given a rookie-scale extension, so the former Ohio State University Buckeye has a cloudy future in Philadelphia. Despite those trade rumors, which have surrounded Turner during Philadelphia's first rebuilding steps this offseason, he's looking forward to working in new coach Brett Brown's uptempo offense.
Here's what Turner told Moore during their Q & A.
On keeping perspective with the rebuild:
"I just don’t want to let these type of situations deter the fun I have with the game. Everything that’s been going on this summer has been about chess moves and money and all that. At the end of the day, it’s about playing basketball."
On his discussions with recently hired head coach Brett Brown around tanking:
“I told him, ‘Everybody wants to be in tank mode and thinks we’re going to lose. I intend on trying to win as much as possible because losing’s too easy,’ ” Turner declared. “He said, ‘Well, they got the wrong coach if we’re going to go out and lose on purpose. We want to compete and get better.’ ”
On increased effectiveness now that former coach Doug Collins is gone:
“I think each year I’ve been taking jumps,” he proclaimed. “I don’t want to sit here and say if I’m successful it’s because of Doug [leaving]. I want to think it’s maturing and growing.”
On new coach Brett Brown's uptempo offense:
“(Brown) said he wants to get us in the best fitness shape of our life,” revealed Turner before saying he enjoys that Brown had a winning track record in San Antonio. “He feels like my skills will flourish in that situation.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.