Evan Marcel Turner (born October 27, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2010 NBA draft and played for them until he was traded in February 2014 to the Indiana Pacers. Turner plays the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions.
Turner was a first-team 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American and the 2010 National Player of the Year while playing at Ohio State University. Turner was also a two-time Big Ten Conference scoring champion and the 2010 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year. He was twice the only player named as a unanimous first-team selection by both the coaches and the media to the All-Big Ten team (2008–09, 2009–10). By finishing first in scoring and second in both rebounds and assists in the conference in the 2009–10 season, he was the first men's basketball player to finish in the top two in each of these categories and the first to finish in the top five in each category in the same season. He is the conference record-holder for most career and single-season record for Conference Player of the Week awards.
Turner attended St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois. By his senior season, he was one of the top high school basketball players at his position in the nation. As a true freshman, he helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2008 National Invitation Tournament championship. The following year, he was the Big Ten Conference scoring champion for the 2008–09 season and was a first-team 2009 All-Big Ten selection. That season, he was also an honorable mention All-American and was selected as a member of the 2009 All-Big Ten Conference Tournament team, and he became one of five Big Ten players to have been among the top ten in the conference in average points, rebounds, and assists in the same season. He is the conference record-holder for most career Player of the Week awards and despite missing over a month of his junior season for the 2009–10 Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball team he also set the single-season record for Player of the Week awards. As a pro, he has participated in the Rising Stars Challenge and helped the 76ers reach the NBA playoffs in his first two NBA seasons. During his third season he became an everyday starter. With an impending free agent status, he was traded to Indiana during his fourth season.
Turner was born weighing 10 pounds (4.5 kg). Within his first year, he endured chicken pox, pneumonia, asthma, and measles. The 1989 Chicago measles epidemic caused Turner to desperately need emergency room services. He encountered severe breathing problems that required the removal of his adenoids and tonsils. At the age of three, he was hit by a car, resulting in a concussion and stitches. Oversized baby teeth and an overbite caused a speech impediment that necessitated speech therapy.
High school career
Before high school, Turner and fellow NBA player Iman Shumpert were teammates on the 8th grade basketball team at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois. He played in the Summer 2004 AAU Boys 15-under Basketball National Championship Tournament for the Illinois Knights. As a high school sophomore, he helped lead St. Joseph to a run in the Illinois AA Boys High School basketball tournament, which helped him get the attention of NCAA Division I basketball coaches. At St. Joseph's, which had once produced Isiah Thomas, he was part of a Chicago area sophomore class (which included Derrick Rose, and his St. Joseph's teammate Demetri McCamey).
Turner started getting major Division I offers early in his junior year, At the beginning of his junior season, Chicago Tribune named him to its annual top Chicago metropolitan area basketball players list. His team went to the state sectional final before losing to Proviso East High School in the sectional final. After his junior season, he was considered one of the top 25 prospects in the country in his class and he was given special mention by the Chicago Tribune and honorable mention by the Associated Press for all-state honors. During the summer of 2006, he committed to Ohio State, which is located in Columbus, Ohio. Turner's decision was influenced by his relationship with his father, James Turner, who lived in Columbus, Ohio and whom Turner had visited every summer since he was ten years old.
During his senior season, his team was listed second to Rose's Simeon Career Academy in the preseason Tribune Chicago area high school basketball team rankings. That season, he was named to the first-team Associated Press 2006–07 Class AA all-state team, a day before Rose's Simeon eliminated Turner's St. Joseph in the Illinois Class AA supersectional. Turner and McCamey finished third and sixth to Rose in the Illinois Mr. Basketball voting, and the Chicago Tribune chose both of them as first team All-state selections. Turner was ranked as the #7, #13 and #16 small forward in the nation as a high school senior by ESPN, rivals.com, and scout.com respectively. He received scholarship offers from five Big Ten Conference basketball programs, as well as Wake Forest, DePaul and Notre Dame.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Chicago, Illinois||St. Joseph (IL)||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||Jun 29, 2006|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 96|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 16 (SF) Rivals: 49, 13 (SF) ESPN: 49, 7 (SF)|
As a freshman, he averaged 27.1 minutes per game, 8.5 points per game, and 4.4 rebounds per game over the course of the season and finished second on the team in assists and third in steals. Turner recorded his first career double double on January 19, 2008 at Thompson–Boling Arena against the Tennessee Vols with his first 20-point game and first 10-rebound game. That season, he helped Ohio State win the 2008 National Invitation Tournament by averaging 18.5 points, 7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3 steals in the tournament's semifinal and final round at Madison Square Garden. He had also scored in double digits in the quarterfinal round. He was also in the starting lineup for the other two NIT games. He contributed at least 24 minutes as a starter in each of the five tournament games.
As a sophomore, Turner was named player of the week three times during the 2008–09 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season (December 8, 2008, February 2, 2009, and February 9, 2009). On February 26, Turner became the only Big Ten player selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as a Top 15 finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. As a guard/forward for the Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball team of the Big Ten Conference, he led his team in the following per-game statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Turner led the Big Ten in scoring as a sophomore. He and Manny Harris became the 4th and 5th players in conference history to finish in the top ten in the conference in points, rebounds and assists since assists became a statistic in 1983–84, following Steve Smith, Jim Jackson, and Brian Evans.
Although he was not selected as a preseason All-Big Ten conference player, he was the only person chosen as a unanimous first-team All Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media at the end of the regular season. On March 5, the National Association of Basketball Coaches honored Turner as a District 7 (Big Ten) first-team selection along with four other sophomores. He was also chosen on March 10 by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for its 2008–09 Men's Division I District V (OH, IN, IL, MI, MN, WI) Team, based on voting from its national membership. He was selected as a 2009 All-American honorable mention by the Associated Press. On March 15, he was selected to the 2009 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament team, despite Ohio State's loss in the final game to Purdue. Turner played for the 2009 Junior USA World University Championships team, along with conference foes Robbie Hummel of Purdue and Talor Battle of Penn State. He helped them to the bronze medal and a 6–1 record.
His junior season began with numerous accolades. ESPN chose both Kalin Lucas and Turner to its 2009–10 NCAA Division I men's basketball season preseason second-team All-American list. FOX Sports preseason All-American list included him on its fifth team. Turner was named among the 50 preseason Wooden Award watch list nominees and the 50 preseason Naismith College Player of the Year watchlist nominees. The 24-member Big Ten media panel selected him as a first-team preseason All-Big Ten team member.
Turner, nicknamed "The Villain", opened the season by recording the first triple double by a Big Ten player since January 13, 2001, and the second in school history (Dennis Hopson was the first) during the Coaches vs. Cancer classic against Alcorn State University. This earned him his fourth career Big Ten player of the week honor and first of the 2009–10 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season. The following week, he ran his streak of double doubles to four to earn back-to-back player of the week honors. Two weeks after his first triple-double, he repeated the feat at home against Lipscomb University on November 24. This earned him his third consecutive Big Ten player of the week award. On December 5, 2009, in the fourth week of the season, he suffered transverse process fractures of the second and third lumbar vertebrae in his back, which was expected to cause him to be inactive for two months. Turner returned early from his injury on January 6, 2010. This occurred two days after Ohio State fell out of the top 25 in the 2009–10 NCAA Division I men's basketball rankings on January 4 in his absence. With Turner back in the lineup, Ohio State returned to the top 25 on January 18, and Turner earned his fourth Big Ten Player of the Week award on the same day after leading his team to wins over two ranked conference foes. Then on February 8, Turner established a new Big Ten Conference record with his eighth career Conference Player of the Week award, surpassing Glenn Robinson and Jackson. The fifth of the season also tied Robinson's single-season record. Two weeks after tying the single-season record, he broke the record when he averaged 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists against two ranked conference opponents (No. 4 Purdue and at No. 11 Michigan State). Then he won the award again on March 1.
Turner helped lead the Buckeyes to the regular-season co-championship of the Big Ten Conference and helped them earn the number one seed in the 2010 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. On March 12, 2010, in their first game in the tournament, Turner helped the Buckeyes get a win over their arch-rival Michigan Wolverines with a last-second 37-foot three-pointer. In the second game, against Illinois, Turner scored 31 points, scoring the game-tying points to send the game to overtime and then the final four points in overtime to send the game into double overtime. Turner scored a total of 12 points in overtime. He then led Ohio State to victory in the championship game against Minnesota with another 31 points. Turner was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player and part of the All-Tournament team. Turner also repeated as the Big Ten scoring champion, and although he lost the rebounding championship to Mike Davis (9.167 to 9.161), he led the conference in defensive rebounds. He also ranked second in assists and third in steals. He improved upon his sophomore showing by becoming the first player to finish in the top two in average points (1st, 20.4), rebounds (2nd, 9.2) and assists (2nd, 6.0), becoming the first men's basketball player to do so and the first to finish in the top five in all three categories.
Turner was selected as a Midseason Top-30 finalist for the 2010 John Wooden Award in January. He was included on the March 15, 26-man final national ballot for the Wooden Award. From that ballot he was selected to the ten-man Wooden All-American team. Then the list was shortened to five finalists (Turner, Sherron Collins, John Wall, Wesley Johnson and Da'Sean Butler) who were flown out to Los Angeles for the announcement. On April 9, Turner was announced as the winner. In February, he was named a midseason Top 30 candidate for the Naismith College Player of the Year and was announced the recipient of the award in Indianapolis April 5, 2010. Turner won the USBWA's Robertson Trophy as the consensus choice by voters in all nine geographical districts. Fox, Associated Press and Sporting News selected him as their National Player of the Year. He earned 54 of the 65 Associated Press panel members' votes. He was recognized the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Division I Player of the Year.
By winning the Wooden, Naismith, Robertson, Fox Sports, NABC, TSN, and AP Player of the Year awards, he nearly swept all of the major player of the year awards. Wall won the Adolph Rupp Trophy (and Yahoo! Sports player of the year). Turner was again the only person chosen as a unanimous first-team All Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media at the end of the regular season and was selected as the 2010 Big Ten Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Turner was also selected as the Big Ten Conference male Athlete of the Year for all sports.
Turner was selected as a first-team 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American by Associated Press, Sporting News, Fox Sports, National Association of Basketball Coaches, United States Basketball Writers Association and Yahoo! Sports. He was also selected in March as one of six finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.
Philadelphia 76ers (2010–2014)
On April 7, 2010, Turner held a press conference and announced that he would forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA draft, where he was expected to be selected as one of the top 3 draft picks. Turner signed with Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk.
On October 27, 2010, in his debut on the Philadelphia 76ers (also his 22nd birthday), Turner recorded 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, coming off the bench for 30 minutes to lead the team in scoring in a 97–87 loss to the Miami Heat. On November 7, 2010, Turner got his first NBA start and ended the game with a double-double, recording 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with his 3 assists, in a 106–96 win over the New York Knicks in place of the injured Andre Iguodala. On December 29, 2010, Turner scored a career-high 23 points in a 123–110 win against the Phoenix Suns, going 9–12 from the field and a perfect 4–4 from the free throw line. He ended the season with fourteen starts and two double-doubles. The team had gone 27-55 the previous season, but were able to improve to 41-41 in Turner's first season. They reached the 2011 NBA Playoffs as the seventh seed, and were matched up against the new-look Miami Heat led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Turner was praised for his aggressiveness in the series, handling Wade on the defensive side, and scoring 17 points and six rebounds on 50% shooting in the Sixers win in Game 4. That would be Philadelphia's only win of the series however, as they fell to the eventual Eastern Conference Champions Miami in five games.
On February 8, 2012, Turner was selected to play in the 2012 Rising Stars competition. During the game, he unveiled a new model of Li-Ning shoes. On March 7, 2012, in only his second start of the season, Turner recorded a career-high, 26 points, against the Boston Celtics. On March 9, 2012, and March 11, 2012, against the Utah Jazz and the New York Knicks, he posted back-to-back double doubles in his third and fourth consecutive start. He again scored 26 points on April 3, 2012, against the Miami Heat. On April 25, 2012, he recorded another double-double while setting a career-high with 29 points and adding 13 rebounds. Over the course of the season, he made twenty starts and recorded five double-doubles. He posted his first postseason double double on May 12, 2012, against the Boston Celtics in the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He repeated the feat on May 21 in game five of the series, recording 10 rebounds and 11 points. He started 12 of Philadelphia's 13 playoff games, but the team was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Turner started all 82 games during the 2012–13 NBA season and tallied 14 double-doubles, while averaging a career high 13.3 points 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. On December 7, 2012, he posted a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double against the Boston Celtics and made the game-winning shot in overtime with 3.9 seconds remaining. On March 1, 2013, he fell one assist short of a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists against the Golden State Warriors.
The 76ers did not sign Turner to an extension prior to the October 31, 2013, deadline, meaning that the 76ers had the right to make him a restricted free agent at the end of the season. On November 9, 2013, Turner established a new career high with 31 points, including the game-tying basket with 8.7 seconds remaining in the first overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Turner hit the game-winning buzzer beater on December 20 against the Brooklyn Nets. Turner sat out on December 28 due to knee soreness, but he returned to the lineup the following night against the Los Angeles Lakers with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. On January 22, 2014, Turner recorded a career-high 34 points in a 110-106 win over the New York Knicks, he also recorded 11 rebounds in the game. Turner hit the game-winning buzzer beater on January 29, 2014 against the Boston Celtics.
Indiana Pacers (2014)
On February 20, 2014, Turner and Lavoy Allen were traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Danny Granger and a second-round draft pick. Turner debuted for the Pacers on February 25, 2014. He scored 13 points and added 6 rebounds as part of the Pacers bench that scored a season-high 50 points against the Los Angeles Lakers. When the Pacers benched their entire starting lineup on April 6, he scored 23 to help the team to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Turner was reported to have an acrimonious relationship with Indiana teammate Lance Stephenson because both were "free agents to be...looking for their first big contract" who played the same style and they were both trying to fill the role of "next big thing". The conflict led to a fist fight between the two on April 21, 2014, in a team practice on the eve of the team's second game of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Stephenson has a reputation for irritating people however. Less than a month earlier, Turner had come to the rescue when Stephenson had derailed against Dwyane Wade. In game 6 of the first round series against Atlanta with Indiana trailing 3–2, head coach Frank Vogel changed the rotation and Turner was left out, playing no minutes, while some of his playing time went to Rasual Butler. In Round 2 against the Washington Wizards, he returned to the lineup. In the first game of Round 3 against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, he sat out with strep throat.
Boston Celtics (2014–2016)
After Indiana elected not to make Turner an $8.7 million qualifying offer, he became an unrestricted free agent. According to his agent, Turner agreed to sign with the Boston Celtics on July 21, 2014. He officially signed with the Celtics on September 29, 2014. He began the season as a reserve, but when Marcus Smart and Rajon Rondo endured concurrent injuries, Turner scored a team-high 19 points in a starting role in a win against the Chicago Bulls. On December 8, 2014, against the Washington Wizards, Turner forced overtime by sinking a three-point shot with 0.9 seconds left in regulation, but missed a 20-foot (6.1 m) jump shot with 0.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime which would have given the Celtics the lead. When he was inserted into the starting lineup at point guard on December 31, 2014, against the Sacramento Kings, he posted a double double with 11 assists and 10 points. Chicago native Turner posted a season-high 29 points at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls on January 3. Turner hit his fourth (in eight attempts) career last second game winning shot with a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left as his team trailed 89–87 against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 22, 2015. Then on February 11, 2015, he hit a game winner with 0.2 seconds left against Atlanta Hawks. Evan Turner posted his first career triple double on February 25, 2015, against the New York Knicks with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. On March 13, 2015, Turner scored 24 of his season-high 30 points in the second half, including 16 in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics rally past the Orlando Magic. He posted two more triple doubles on March 23 against the Brooklyn Nets (19 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists) and on April 1 against the Indiana Pacers (13 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists). On April 10, he recorded a career-high 13 assists against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Turner played every game in the 2014–15 season and finished with averages of 9.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and a career-high 5.5 assists per game. During the offseason, he was named as a participant in the first-ever NBA Africa Game.
On January 4, 2016, Turner started in place of an injured Avery Bradley and posted a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double against the Brooklyn Nets. He posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double off the bench against the New York Knicks on February 2. On February 16, at halftime of the Ohio State–Michigan game at Value City Arena, Turner's collegiate number, 21, was retired by Ohio State. On March 26, Turner posted a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double and blocked Devin Booker's potential game-tying shot with 3.9 seconds left against the Phoenix Suns.
Portland Trail Blazers (2016–present)
On July 6, 2016, Turner signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. Turner battled Maurice Harkless for the starting small forward role through the preseason, but in the end he lost out. He debuted with a 3-point, 5-rebound and 5-assist performance in a 113–104 win over the Utah Jazz in 26 minutes off the bench. With Harkless injured on December 8, Turner started against the Memphis Grizzlies and notched a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double in a 88–86 loss, despite a pair of go-ahead free throws by Turner with 27 seconds left. On January 5, 2017, he scored 15 of his season-high 20 points in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers' 118–109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Turner's 11 assists off the bench on January 11 against the Cleveland Cavaliers was the most by a Portland reserve in nearly 3 years. On February 8, he was ruled out for approximately five to six weeks after sustaining a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand the night before playing against the Dallas Mavericks. He returned to action, wearing a protective brace, on March 18 after missing 14 games. The team was 7–7 without Turner. He opened the 2017 NBA playoffs with a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double in a 12-point loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Trail Blazers were swept in four games, however.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Turner's mother is Iris James, and he has two older brothers named Darius and Richard.