BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics have a nice collection of guards on their roster, but may be looking to add another.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the Celtics (along with the Timberwolves) have shown interest in 2010 second overall pick Evan Turner. The Indiana Pacers, who acquired Turner at the trade deadline last season, did not extend him an $8.7 million qualifying offer this off-season, making him a free agent.
Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points for the Philadelphia 76ers last season when he was traded, and averaged 7.1 points over 27 games for the Pacers.
A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet joined Rich Keefe (filling in for Adam Jones) on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Monday night, and said Turner’s versatility would be a great fit for Boston, but with other more-glaring needs on the roster, they may have to focus their limited funds elsewhere.
“The thing about [Turner] is he’s a guard, but he’s more of a utility point-forward type. He can play the three, the two and the one; his versatility is his calling card,” said Blakely. “The Celtics are one of the teams interested, but with him it’s going to come down to price tag. I don’t think the mid-level exception, which is basically the only chip the Celtics have in acquiring a guy like Evan Turner, [will get it done].”
Blakely thinks Turner could command anywhere from $7-8 million a year, which is a little too rich for Celtics, who are still in need of a big man to clog up the paint.
“He would be a good fit, but looking at this roster, there aren’t a lot of obvious openings. The one area the Celtics still haven’t really addressed is a rim protector,” said Blakely. “I know Tyler Zeller is a seven-footer and decent defender, but they still don’t have the one guy who can anchor the defense and make teams think twice when they enter the paint.”
Blakely also touched on the only way Houston would be able to complete a trade for Rajon Rondo, and said with Lebron James going to Cleveland there will now be more parity in the Eastern Conference: