The first two picks of the NBA Draft have been decided for a long time. They just needed it to be made official by David Stern. Once the process got started, it was clear that the best two players in the draft were John Wall and Evan Turner. While John Wall was the first overall pick, the best player in college basketball last season was Evan Turner and to me it wasn’t even close. Every time Turner took the court he was a threat for a triple double and statistically had a season in college basketball that I haven’t seen in recent years.
The 76ers have struggled recently and are in rebuilding mode. They recently hired Doug Collins as their head coach, they have a young core with Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Jrue Holiday, and they just made a trade to get rid of Samuel Dalembert.
While Turner has some weaknesses and I don’t know what position he will play right away in the NBA, he will be expected to be a huge piece in the rebuilding process of a struggling franchise.
Evan Turner joined 97.5 the Fanatic in Philly with Mike Missanelli to talk about getting drafted by the 76ers, who he models his game after, and whether or not he understands the craziness of the Philly fan.
His feelings now that he has been drafted:
“I felt like one of my goals was complete getting to the NBA and being at the draft. I’m just really happy. It’s a new beginning, I get to a start a new career in a great city, and I’m just really excited.”
What Doug Collins expects from him:
“He just expects me to come in and play hard and play with passion. Just be relentless. He says as long as I’m willing to learn, everything will be fine.”
On the criticism about his three point shooting:
“I just mentioned this earlier. If you look at my career three point percentage in college, I was around 40 percent. I just didn’t shoot that much. I don’t think I will ever be a three point shooter and I have to be more consistent with it and keep the defense honest, but I think mid-range is where my game is and inside the perimeter and the three point line so I can get my teammates involved, penetrate, and put pressure on the defense.”
On whether or not it has hit him that he is in the NBA:
“I can’t really believe it’s real. I’ve been dreaming about this. It’s almost unreal but I’m glad to be in this position. To play in the NBA, not many people have this opportunity and I can’t wait to work my way to the top with my teammates.”
On whether or not he is ready to live up to the expectations of the fans in Philadelphia:
“I’m definitely ready. It’s all positive. They really want you to win and they let you know they want you to win. It’s all positive and I just know they’re really passionate. Coach Collins said if I play hard and play with passion, I should have no problem.”