Free agency will not just mark the period the Lakers hope to revamp their roster. It could also represent a period in which another saga of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry unfolds.
Boston free-agent shooting guard Evan Turner has expressed interest in about six NBA teams, including the Lakers and Celtics, according to league sources familiar with the situation.
The 27-year-old Turner provided a jack-of-all-trades role through two seasons in Boston. He averaged 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists over 27.8 minutes per game through two seasons in Boston. He excelled on defense. He reportedly kept the Celtics’ locker room loose.
Questions arose about Turner’s 3-point shooting after only shooting 24.1 percent last season. Yet, Turner made up for that with an efficient mid-range game by shooting 52.9 percent from shots within 12-14 feet, according to NBA.com. After shooting 14.5 percent from 3-point range in the first half of the season, Turner made 52.4 percent of his 3-point attempts after the NBA All-Star break.
Turner faced heavy expectations with the Philadelphia 76ers after they selected him second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. After averaging 11.83 points through 3 1/2 seasons with the Sixers, Turner was then traded to the Indiana Pacers. Turner then signed with the Celtics in 2014 to a two-year deal worth $6.7 million.
“I had some of the most fun playing basketball since I’ve played in the NBA,” Turner recently said on “The Vertical Podcast” with Clippers guard J.J. Redick. “We’ve had a great locker room. Boston was definitely a first class organization. Brad Stevens did a lot for my career and my maturity.”
Should Turner land with the Lakers, that could lead to shuffling with their current backcourt. The Lakers plan to retain second-year guard Jordan Clarkson, though Turner’s potential arrival could lead toward both competing for the starting spot at shooting guard. Clarkson prefers to start for competitive purposes, but has maintained he would adapt to any role that is asked of him.