2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Evan Turner

Editor's Note, by rook6980: This is the second installment in what I expect to be a regular posting on Draft Prospects.  This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2010 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two analyses a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft. My DVR is crammed full of college games, and I'm watching them as fast as I can (between Wizards games).

Draft Prospect assessments:
John Wall
Wesley Johnson        Upcoming
DeMarcus Cousins    Upcoming

Evan Turner

  • Team: Ohio State
  • Height / Wt:  6'7" / 205
  • Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward
  • Age: Junior, 21 Years Old

Turner is smooth. I mean smooooooove. He will likely play shooting guard in the NBA but at 6'6" (with a 7-foot wingspan) he could also switch to small forward. He's got the passing skills and vision of a point guard, but he rebounds like a power forward, averaging 11.2 rebounds per 40 minutes (pace adjusted). Draft Express says his best case scenario is Brandon Roy, but while I think that Turner is a lot like Roy, particularly offensively, I think Turner is a better rebounder and will be a better defender.

So I was able to watch three full games, and part of another. In all the games I watched, Evan Turner was easily the best player on the court, by a long shot. Against Michigan, he dominated in the second half, ending with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. He had several big shots in the second half, including a pretty baseline jumper to start the scoring in the second half. He also scored on a dribble spin move in the middle, and a gorgeous step back jumper mid-way through the period. His defense was again stellar. Against Illinois, he had a very poor first half, shooting only 4-12 and committing some careless turn overs. Turner was OSU's primary ball handler, even bringing the ball up court against Illinois' very good PG DeMetri McCamey. He was the Buckeye's playmaker, initiating their Offense and directing traffic. Then in the second half, he shot 3-4 and led the Buckeyes to a share of the Big-10 title. 

He handles the basketball like a point guard. He's equally prolific with either hand, and can drive to the hoop either way; making him difficult to defense. He has tremendous vision and play making skills (5.8 assists per game), and it's gotten to the point that I'm surprised that no one has suggested making him into a Point Guard, though he has been frequently used as a point forward at Ohio State this year. They've even had him guard four positions on the court.

Turner has excellent skill level, with advanced moves (spin dribble, change of gears, hesitation moves, etc). He is excellent at getting to the basket, and he's strong enough to absorb contact and finish. That ability to get to the rim means that he draws a fair number of fouls, getting to the line about six times a game; and he is a good free throw shooter at 73% ... (although he was better last year at 79%)

Turner is a solid shooter, with good form and a high release; especially good at pulling up from 15-17 feet. Superb coming off screens, where his driving ability, coupled with his deadly mid-range shot and his passing ability makes him particularly dangerous. Although Ohio State doesn't run it enough, I can see him being a big threat in the NBA with the pick-and-roll. He's not much of a three-point threat (28%), but fortunately, he seems to understand his limitations and shoots very few long shots.

He's not as good a shooter spotting up and he does need to improve his shooting range and cut down on his turnovers. But having said that, Evan Turner has a tremendously versatile all-round Offensive game.

Often times, when there's a lot of good things to say about a player's offensive talents, things start sounding a bit different when you get around to talking about their defense. That's not the case with Turner. He's an excellent one-on-one and help defender; physical and in-your-face. He seems to jack it up a notch late in games when his team needs a critical stop. He's long, and strong, but he's also quick, so he can defend multiple positions. Those qualities also help him when he gets switched off to a smaller or bigger opponent. Turner contests every shot, getting about a block a game, but he causes many more misses. Finally, he plays hard on both ends of the court, not taking any time off on defense to save energy for the offensive end.

Strengths:  

  • All-around offensive game
  • Great creator off the dribble
  • Excellent pull-up jumper
  • Outstanding body control
  • Finishes through contact
  • Can initiate the offense
  • Ball-handling and court vision
  • Ability to set up his teammates
  • Can finish strong at the rim
  • Excellent rebounder
  • Good defensive fundamentals
  • Physical defender
  • Contests everything
  • Can guard multiple positions
  • Intangibles: Intensity, high character, Experienced, Unselfish , Winner, High Basketball IQ, Plays hard

Weaknesses:

  • Turns the ball over
  • Tries to do too much sometimes
  • Not a great 3-point shooter - needs to improve his range

If the Wizards are lucky enough to land the #2 pick, Evan Turner would fit right in as their starting SG next year. He would not only give them the perimeter defender they need, but I think he would also be a near perfect fit next to Gilbert Arenas at point guard. He could provide another playmaker next to Arenas and a great pick-and-roll partner for Andray Blatche or JaVale McGee. His ability to get to the rim would give the Wizards two drive and dish threats in the back-court. Finally, I love the fact that he's big and can match up with the other big SG's in the East.

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