Evan Turner retiring, joining Celtics as assistant coach

Evan Turner is retiring and getting his start as a coach in Boston.

Even though his ability to guard several positions on the floor and distribute the ball is attractive, Evan Turner’s waining offensive game did a number on his value in free agency. With the former No. 2 overall pick realizing his best days are in the rear-view mirror, he has decided to end his playing career and get into coaching.

Per Shams Charania, Turner is finalizing a deal to join Brad Stevens, under whom he played for two seasons, and his coaching staff on the Boston Celtics. Turner, who will focus on player development with Boston, is essentially retiring, having made the transition from player to coach after a decade in the NBA with five different teams.

Evan Turner was a solid NBA player, but he never became a star

Before triple-doubles became commonplace, Turner, who won the Wooden Award and AP Player of the year during his final season at Ohio State, was pulling them off with regularity, averaging 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Turner was picked second, behind John Wall, in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, ahead of future stars like DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George.

Turner’s versatility on both sides of the floor helped him extend his career, but he never became the scorer many expected. His best scoring average for a full season was 14.0 per game in a year he split between Philly and Indiana in 2013-14. He spent the next five years as a role player in Boston and Portland before struggling to get on the floor in Atlanta last season.

Turner might’ve never became the transcendent player many expected, but he carved out a very solid, decade-long career in the NBA. Stevens clearly values his basketball mind, and that could be a valuable asset for Boston this season.

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