Veteran forward Evan Turner will be continuing his NBA career, but as a coach rather than a player. Turner is finalizing a deal to join the Boston Celtics as an assistant coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. In his role in Boston, Turner is expected to focus on player development.
Turner has played 10 years in the league, and played for six different franchises. He began his career in Philadelphia with the 76ers after they made him the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He played in Philadelphia for four seasons before he was traded to the Indiana Pacers, where he played just half of a season. He then went on to suit up for the Celtics from 2014 to 2016. He also played for the Portland Trail Blazers (2016 to 2019), Atlanta Hawks (2019 to 2020) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2020). Over the course of his career, Turner appeared in 705 regular-season games and averaged 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He also appeared in 63 playoff games and averaged 7.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists during those contests.
Turner, 32, was an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and earlier this year he made it clear that he was looking to continue his career as a player.
“The physical part is all here,” Turner said in July, via Sports Illustrated. “I’m smooth. I took this time to try and let my body heal up from some nagging injuries that never felt good. The coronavirus brought everything to a halt, but you use lemons to make lemonade and keep situations beneficial. I have grown and gained a lot of positives during this time. I’m looking forward to next season and getting back to a winning team.”
While Turner won’t be continuing his career as a player, he will at least be getting back to a winning team as the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference finals last season, and face lofty expectations in the coming season. In Turner, the Celtics get a veteran with ample on-court experience who could potentially help the development of some of the team’s younger players.