After spending two years in Boston from 2014-16, Evan Turner will be returning to the Celtics for the 2020/21 season — but not as a player. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter), Turner is finalizing a deal to join the C’s as an assistant coach, with a focus on player development.
The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Turner has spent 10 seasons in the NBA as a player for the Sixers, Pacers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, and Hawks. He has averaged 9.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 705 career regular season games (26.9 MPG).
Although Turner had some productive seasons earlier in his career, he wasn’t an effective rotation player in 2019/20, averaging 3.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 19 games (13.2 MPG) for Atlanta. He was traded to Minnesota at the February deadline and never appeared in a game for the Timberwolves — the two sides explored a buyout, but didn’t end up reaching a deal.
It’s not clear if Turner is transitioning from playing to coaching for good, as he’s still just 32 years old and hasn’t technically announced his retirement. Still, for this season at least, it sounds like he’ll try his hand at player development in a role on Brad Stevens‘ staff.