Chances are, your reaction to the Indiana Pacers' acquisition of Evan Turner from the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline tracked closely with how heavily you rely on analytics to interpret the NBA. Is Turner the productive bench scorer the Pacers need, or is he the inefficient possession-burner who will kill an already mediocre offense?
"Evan has great potential, and I think our offense is his style of play," Pacers All-Star Paul George said just before Turner joined the team. "He's a pick-and-roll guy, can create his own offense and get into the paint at will. I think it will be an easy transition. Evan is a good dude. He's a hard worker and a winning player."
That might all be true, but the thing is, Turner just hasn't been very good as an NBA player. Among those with at least 5,000 minutes played since he came into the league in 2010, his 12.2 career PER ranks 171st of 184 players. It's not that he lacks talent, but in basketball, it's not so much what you can do, but what you actually do. In Turner's case, his above-average volume was a liability, given his level of inefficiency. It has been the story of Turner's disappointing career, and it's a problem that throws a wild card into the well-established atmosphere of the Indiana locker room.