Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts started Evan Turner midway through last season with the idea of having him initiate the offense at times as a point forward with the first unit, but it didn't last long, as the seven-year NBA veteran broke his right hand and missed a month recovering from the injury.
With the 2017 preseason underway, Stotts is once again looking to get the most out of Turner, and using him as a point forward with the starting group could be the best option.
"I mean, one of the things is to take advantage of his ballhandling and make it a little less taxing for Dame (Damian Lillard) and CJ (CJ McCollum)," Stotts told The Oregonian. "That's something we want to do better this year than we did last year."
The Blazers hope this type of role is exactly what Turner needs to excel, as he is owed $53.6 million through the 2019-20 NBA season.
"ET is really comfortable having that option," Lillard said. "Calling the game, having the ball in his hands, playmaking, being in attack mode. And it also makes the game easier for myself and CJ when you're playing off the ball."
In 2016-17, his first season with Portland, Turner made 65 appearances and averaged 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
-- Nick Silva