Boston Celtics are determined to re-sign swingman Evan Turner during the off-season, according to general manager Danny Ainge.
Turner, who is averaging 10 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and a career-best 44.9-percent shooting in 27 minutes per game, would be eyeing a near-max contract during the off-season. And since Celtics own his Bird Rights, it would be easy for the team to ink the forward to a new deal.
Ainge would like to see Turner return to Boston next season. “As you know I’m a fan of Evan (Turner) and I think he’s had a really good year,” said the former Celtics player. “I think he’s had a good two years (in Boston). He won a lot of games for us. Down the stretch of games, he’s a good guy to have on your team, he’s a versatile player. He plays multiple positions.”
‘Big fans of Evan’
When asked if he would like to re-sign Turner, Ainge told the Boston Globe: “Yes. We’re big fans of Evan. I think Evan likes us and we like him.”
Boston is armed with plenty of cap space, a successful coach and a battery of young talent that has led the team to the third seed in the competitive Eastern Conference. Most pundits reckon that they are just one superstar piece away from becoming the best team in the East. According to Ainge, it wouldn’t be wise to let Turner walk, since it would affect the team’s chemistry next season.
Celtics being realistic…
This summer, superstars Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, and DeMar DeRozan are only some of the names to enter free agency. According to several league sources, the Celtics are in prime position to sign at least one marquee free agent. However, Ainge doesn’t want to give fans false expectations.
“Listen, I played in Boston for eight years and I’ve been here now (as GM) for 13 years, I think everybody that’s been here in all those years has enjoyed it, as long as they get to play and their role is right,” said Ainge, adding that the perception of free agents not wanting to play for Boston is not true.
According to Ainge, Boston is still capable of attracting free agents. “Some guys might not like it because they don’t get to play as much as they want. So I don’t think that’s anything new. It’s an exciting, wonderful place to play. Almost everybody in my experience in those 21 years has loved it here.”
Will Celtics attract a free agent or two?