The Philadelphia 76ers formally announced on Thursday morning that the club has exercised the fourth-year option of swingman Evan Turner.
Originally selected with the second overall pick by the Sixers in the 2010 NBA Draft, Turner has averaged 8.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 143 games (34 starts) with Philadelphia. Coming off a year where he led all other guards in total rebounds, Turner still has room to grow as a professional player.
SB Nation's Sixers blog, Liberty Ballers, profiled Turner in late September and discussed his potential as an impact player on a budding team. With the emergence of Jrue Holiday at point guard and the offseason acquisition of center Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have a core group of players to build around.
In their opinion, Turner could be the key piece, via Liberty Ballers:
While Bynum is clearly the team's best player and they'd be nowhere without him, it's Turner that will make the difference between the Sixers nipping at the Miami Heat for half a decade and taking up the First Round Exit mantle left by the Atlanta Hawks. I'm not worried about Jrue or Bynum. They'll get where they have to be. Turner could become the real gamechanger for this franchise.
The Sixers will kickoff the 2012-13 regular season on Wednesday night when they host the Denver Nuggets at Wells Fargo Center.