Free agent guard/forward Evan Turner has been connected to the Knicks for a second time. Both parties are reportedly interested.Evan Turner to the New York Knicks will be one of the hottest free agency rumors of the summer. This is the latest edition.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders sent out a tweet confirming prior reports of the Knicks interest in the Celtics’ swingman.
The New York Knicks and Turner are a good match on paper. Turner fills a need on the wing and gives the team another ball handler.
Phil Jackson is even a fan. There are red flags however.
Chief among those is his shooting.
League rumblings: The Knicks are rumored to be interested in soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Evan Turner. The interest may be mutual.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 7, 2016
Turner made headlines today when excerpts from his interview with Complex made the rounds online. He responded to a question about his mediocre three point shooting (he’s 30.5 percent for his career) with a defensive rant against analytics, in which he likened himself to Michael Jordan of all people.
“People say, ‘You can’t shoot the three.’ But I can defend, I can pass, rebound, score. You got guys that all they can do is shoot and nothing else. Like, how a– backwards is that? Only in America can you be a lacrosse player and judge basketball. Or you’ve never played basketball and say, ‘Yeah, I was working on the stock market—[stuff] wasn’t working so now I’m in the NBA judging talent.’ [The media] can write stuff on something they have no clue about.
“The future is in the mid-range. The mid-range is where the money’s at, man. I think the three-point shot opens up the court and everything like that, but MJ and all those great players made all of their money out of the mid-range. So I’m not sorry for that at all. Evan M. Turner. For sure, ‘M’ stands for mid-range. Anywhere within 15 feet is cash. I’ll try to get better at threes, but that’s my game.”
So he’s not humble. But it’s understandable why Turner would feel this way. He decided to gravitate away from the long ball this season and it paid off.
According to NBA.com, Turner took 296 mid-range shots, making them at a healthy 39.5 percent clip. He took only 83 three-point attempts and made them at just a 24.1 percent clip. It was Turner’s lowest field goal attempt from downtown since the 2011-12 season.
Turner had the guts to take his game in the complete opposite way in which the rest of the NBA was trending. That says a lot about him.
In the interview he says that he’ll try to get better at threes, but why bother? Turner shot a career high from the field in 2015-16 when he decided to cut down on them. This was easily the best season of Turner’s career, it just so happened that it fell during a contract year.
The Knicks will need to shell out big money for Turner and even that may not sway him. Fans remember how there was “mutual interest” with Greg Monroe last year. They certainly won’t get their hopes up.
Turner would look good in a New York Knicks uniform next season. As with all things, it will come down to the money.