If there’s one thing we’ve seen so far in free agency, it’s that teams are unafraid of making big moves. The salary cap is increasing, and that means contracts are getting larger and larger. Players who might not be good enough to make an All-Star team are getting max deals. Role players are signing multi-year, multi-million dollar deals. What this really tells us is that NBA contracts are starting to get more in line with MLB contracts, where your average player can command around $10 million per season.
Although the negotiating period for NBA free agency is still in its early stages, we’ve already seen some huge contracts that will force you to spit up your drink.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most outrageous contract agreements we have seen so far. Just remember that until a player signs on July 7, these contracts are not yet 100 percent official (we call this the DeAndre Jordan exception).
5) Evan Turner, Trail Blazers – 4 years, $70 million
Evan Turner is a good, versatile player, so we don’t exactly dislike Portland adding him. But Evan Turner making $17.5 million per season is a bit nutty when you consider stars like Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard all made around the same amount of money last season.
The deal even had Turner admitting it blew him away:
Evan Turner on Blazers' 4-year, $70 million FA offer: "It blew me away. But it’s much more than a number. The fit was important for me.”
Turner, the former No. 2 overall pick by the 76ers, spent the last two seasons with the Celtics, playing less than he was used to with Philly. He averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, and he’ll likely slide into Portland’s lineup alongside the blossoming backcourt of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard.
Turner hasn’t always had the best reputation within the locker room, even going so far as to reportedly fight a teammate, so we wonder how he’ll handle a situation where he may end up sharing minutes with Al-Farouq Aminu. Just don’t expect Turner to start becoming an outside shooter, as he very rarely shoots threes (his career 30.5 percent mark likely explains why). The good news is he always has been considered a strong defender and he likes their “tough” identity.
Beyond just the high amounts of money being paid to Turner, the ripple effect of this deal could mean the team does not match an offer sheet for Allen Crabbe. Many feel that when it comes down to it, re-signing Crabbe rather than overpaying for Turner would be a sounder strategy for Portland.
Even under the new salary cap, this seems like a panic overpay for the 27-year-old Turner who averaged 10.5 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game for the Celtics last season. Turner does a little bit of everything well, but doesn’t space the floor effectively, needs a requisite amount of touches to produce, and could take away minutes on the wing from the likes of CJ McCollum, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Allen Crabbe (if retained).
Wojnarowski also reports that the Blazers are in hot pursuit of six-time All-Star Pau Gasol, having made an aggressive offer to the Spanish big man.
Gasol is still a nightly double-double threat, even at 35 years old, but hasn’t been fleet of foot in centuries, struggles to defend the pick-and-roll, can’t play at a fast pace, and would create a logjam in a frontcourt already populated by Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard, and Ed Davis.
The Blazers surprised many last season by winning 44 games and making it to the second round of the playoffs despite losing five of their six top players from the year before. Part of the way they pulled it off was by targeting undervalued, cost-effective young options on the free agent market. That seems like something they’ve abandoned completely this offseason, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the roster comes together now.
Most people are in agreement that Kelly Olynyk fouled Kevin Love intentionally and committed a dirty or “bush league” play on him during Game 4 of the Cavaliers-Celtics series on Sunday. Evan Turner is not one of those people.
After the game, Turner defended his teammate for the play that led to Love suffering a dislocated shoulder.
“He’s a horrible box-out guy in practice,” Turner said of Olynyk via The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “Can’t box out to save his life.”
And while I don’t think Olynyk was trying to hurt Love (watch the play here), I think he was in a competitive environment and got carried away. I just hope Love won’t miss much time because I want to see what the Cavs can do in the rest of the playoffs.
For the second time since becoming a Boston Celtic, Evan Turner returned to Philly to face his former team — the 7ers — and he did not receive a warm reception. Turner was booed by Philadelphia 76ers fans at the Wells Fargo Center every time he touched the ball. That didn’t stop the point guard from feeling like royalty.
When asked if the boos bothered him, Turner offered some fantastic thoughts.
“Before the game I signed like 100,000 autographs, I’m kissing babies and what not and all that stuff,” Turner said sarcastically, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “I’m getting my hand kissed by people; I got little girls come up to me fainting.
“Once the game started, it was like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ I was like, ‘This is weird. Did they take all the good people out?”
That wasn’t the best part.
“I don’t worry about it anymore,” Turner said of the boos. “I don’t want to sound super weird, but Jesus was hated too. At the end of the day, I just worry about the stuff that’s important. If it makes you happy to boo me, go ahead. I’m still happy. I put all that stuff behind me.”
Saying you don’t want to sound weird before comparing yourself to Jesus Christ is like hurling a huge insult at someone but saying “with all due respect” first.
Newly-acquired Boston Celtics swingman Evan Turner was ejected from Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Toronto Raptors after he argued a few calls and gently tossed the ball toward the official. The latter act didn’t seem all that malicious, but Turner was given the boot anyway.
Turner began jawing at the ref late in the third quarter as he dribbled the ball up the court after a Toronto basket. When the official blew the play dead to slap Turner with a technical, the former Ohio State star stopped and tossed the ball toward the ref. It bounced twice before hitting him in the leg. Celtics coach Brad Stevens thought it was enough to warrant an ejection.
Did turner earn his technicals and ejection? Stevens nods. "I thought so."
Had the ref been looking in Turner’s direction, he probably just would have grabbed the ball and thought nothing of it. But considering it was a preseason game, the official likely felt it was as good a time as any to make an example out of Turner.
Evan Turner ran out of gas in his cherry Ferrari Monday, and it looks like his buddy and former Ohio State teammate P.J. Hill came to the rescue.
Hill posted the above video of Turner to his Instagram account Monday.
Just look at Turner. He’s in a beautiful, expensive Ferrari, stopped in between lanes on the freeway and with the hazard lights on.
Rolling in a Ferrari is supposed to make you look cool, but nothing loses you all those cool points quite like running out of gas on the road. You know his girl was on the phone calling all her friends to tell them what an embarrassment Evan is:
Woj says Turner was cut from the fight. He also says Turner isn’t the first player to lose his temper with Stephenson in recent weeks, though no other fights have been reported.
The Pacers inexplicably lost to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 101-93 and looked pretty dreadful. Stephenson had 19 points and 7 rebounds in 35 minutes while Turner scored 9 points in 18 minutes. Indiana looked much more like the team that earned the top seed in the East during a 101-85 win in Game 2 on Monday.
A source told Woj that these types of fights are a regular occurrence, but they acknowledged that the timing was poor.
This really should not come as a surprise in the least. The Pacers began sliding towards the end of the season after a great start. Roy Hibbert called out his teammates for being selfish and then was reprimanded by coach Frank Vogel, but maybe he was just telling the truth.
It was obvious something has been wrong with the Pacers, and this finally explains things — they’re having chemistry problems. And bringing in Evan Turner was obviously a bad move.