TODAY'S PAPER
70° Good Morning
70° Good Morning
SportsBasketball

Is Evan Turner battling something?

Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers and

Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers and Team Chuck posts up against Kemba Walker #1 of the Charlotte Bobcats and Team Shaq during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. (Feb. 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

After an Oscar Robertson-esque junior season at Ohio State, when Evan Turner broke out and averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, the Philadelphia 76ers used the second overall pick in the 2010 draft on the 6-7 guard.

Turner's first season was rough. He averaged just 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 23.0 minutes per game, and shot an underwhelming 42.5 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three.

In his second season, Turner looked to be figuring it out. An impressive January, where Turner averaged 10.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 26 minutes per game while shooting 49 percent, had some analysts rekindling the pre-draft projection of Turner evolving into a Brandon Roy-type.

However, as he has done in the past, Turner wasn't consistent, and he fell flat in February. His scoring averaged dipped to 5.1 points per game, his rebounding average dropped to 4.7 per game, his shooting percentage plummeted to 34.4 percent, and he played only 20.6 minutes per game.

That brings us to Philadelphia Daily News sports writer Stan Hochman.

In an interview radio with Angelo Cataldi, Hochman was asked if it's fair to officially label Turner as a bust. Hochman gave this cryptic answer:

"There's an explanation for Turner's inconsistent play. And one of these days, the teams, with Turner's permission, will reveal it. And then, the criticism will back off."

Cataldo asked if Hochman could explain further.

"I can't."

Inside information?

"Yes."

Off the record?

"Yes."

At this point, all we have is 30 seconds-worth of a sports radio interview. But Hochman is a long-time writer and well-respected. In other words, he's got no reason to make up such a story.

So what ails Turner? Who knows. It'd be silly and irresponsible to speculate, especially if Hochman suggests that critics will "back off" when the news breaks. But it's definitely a story worth following the rest of the season, especially if Hochman is write, and the Sixers opt to reveal the mystery soon.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports