Evan Turner shot 52.4 percent on 3-point attempts after the All-Star break this season. Among those with at least 20 attempts in that span, he ranked third in the NBA in 3-point percentage. That's no small accomplishment considering that Turner often poked fun at himself after shooting a ghastly 14.5 percent on 3-pointers in the first half of the season.
Though Turner improved his 3-point shot -- limiting his attempts and finding a corner sweet spot in the second half of the season -- he knows where his bread is buttered and doesn't plan to let an NBA game gravitating more behind the 3-point line dictate how he plays.
"People say, 'You can’t shoot the 3.' But I can defend, I can pass, rebound, score. You got guys that all they can do is shoot and nothing else," Turner said in an interview with Complex. "Like, how a-- backwards is that? Only in America can you be a lacrosse player and judge basketball. Or you’ve never played basketball and say, 'Yeah, I was working on the stock market -- [it] wasn’t working, so now I’m in the NBA judging talent.' [The media] can write stuff on something they have no clue about.
"The future is in the mid-range. The mid-range is where the money’s at, man. I think the 3-point shot opens up the court and everything like that, but [Michael Jordan] and all those great players made all of their money out of the mid-range. So I’m not sorry for that at all. Evan M. Turner. For sure, 'M' stands for mid-range. Anywhere within 15 feet is cash. I’ll try to get better at 3s, but that’s my game."
The 'M' actually stands for Marcel, but Turner's point is no less valid. The Boston Celtics and coach Brad Stevens valued him in large part because of his ability to create for himself off the dribble, both in getting to the basket and pulling up from the mid-range.
Turner's skills helped him finish fifth in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year this season. Stevens often raved about Turner's versatility, particularly as a backup ball-handler.
Turner is to become a free agent this summer. He sounds open to the possibility of returning to Boston, but the team's limited rights and a need to develop younger talent might make it difficult to bring him back, especially if other teams throw big money at Turner at the start of free agency.
During his two seasons in Boston, Turner averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists over 27.8 minutes per game. Though there are no official stats, he seemingly led the league in entertaining quotes during that span.