Evan Turner Would Draw Interest If Bought Out

One of four players headed to Minnesota in the Timberwolvesfour-team trade with Denver, Houston, and Atlanta, Evan Turner looks like a potential candidate to reach free agency in the coming weeks. Sean Deveney of Heavy.com suggests the Wolves are likely to buy out Turner in the coming days if his $18.6MM expiring contract can’t be used in another deadline deal.

Still, it’s not a lock yet that Turner won’t suit up for his new team. Darren Wolfson of SKOR North suggested this morning (via Twitter) that his early sense is that the veteran guard will stick around and play for the Wolves for now. Wolfson later noted (via Twitter) that Minnesota could take a few weeks to make a final decision, since the deadline to waive Turner and allow him retain his playoff eligibility is March 1.

Agent Kevin Bradbury said in a statement to Wolfson that no decisions have been made yet on Turner’s status.

“We’re working through all the options with G.R. (Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas) right now,” Bradbury wrote in a text message. “They have been professional and upfront with everything. Evan is a 10-year vet who has a lot of basketball left in him and understands this is a business. We’re open to working with (Rosas) to help everyone accomplish their goals.”

At least in the short term, Turner’s veteran experience and his ball-handling ability could help a Timberwolves team that’s undergoing some major changes and has now moved both of its top two point guards (Shabazz Napier and Jeff Teague) in in-season deals. However, he’s probably not in the organization’s plans beyond this season and may appreciate the opportunity to join a contender sooner rather than later.

If Turner eventually gets a buyout, multiple teams are expected to have interest in him, league sources tell Deveney. The Celtics – who may be looking for some bench scoring – and the Heat would likely be among the teams with interest, Deveney adds. For what it’s worth, Miami is right up against a hard cap and would have to move a little salary to sign a veteran like Turner.

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