Feb 4, 2014, 4:32 PM EST
One of the most obvious trade candidates around the NBA is Evan Turner.
Both a talented young player on an expiring contract and not so good and so cheap that his current team wants to keep him, Tuner would fit in a variety of potential deals.
There’s only one hitch. The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to find any takers.
Well, how about the Charlotte Bobcats?
The Philadelphia 76ers are open to trading forward Evan Turner and the Charlotte Bobcats have looked into acquiring him, an NBA source confirmed to the Observer Monday.
Nothing about the Bobcats’ interest appears imminent to making a deal.
Especially with Jeff Taylor out for the season, Turner would upgrade Charlotte’s wing depth. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is still a bit of a project, and Chris Douglas-Roberts is a good replacement-level player, but still a replacement-level player.
Consider the Bobcats are in playoff position – by only one game over the Detroit Pistons for the No. 8 seed – they might want to sacrifice the future for the immediate upgrade Tuner could provide.
Here are a couple trades that might make sense for both sides:
1. Turner for Ben Gordon and the Trail Blazers’ first-round pick
Charlotte could have three first-round picks this summer – its own (though it goes to the Bulls if it’s outside the top 10), Detroit’s (top-eight protected) and Portland’s (top-12 protected). The Bobcats’ own first-round pick is likely too valuable to surrender for Turner, as is the Pistons’. The Trail Blazers’ pick, which will almost certainly fall in the 20s and be conveyed this year, seems to be a fair price.
Because the 76ers are under the salary cap, they could take back Gordon’s larger expiring contract in a trade. Perhaps, the Bobcats would have to send Philadelphia cash to neutralize the real-dollar costs of the swap, but Gordon would at least be off the books following this season.
2. Turner and Jason Richardson for Gordon
Richardson, who’s 33 and has missed the entire season due to injury, has a $6,601,125 player option for next season that he’ll almost certainly accept. That’s negative value for any team, especially a rebuilding one like Philadelphia.
Paying Richardson next season would be Charlotte’s tax for getting Turner. The 76ers wouldn’t get any future assets other than a cleaner slate from which to work.
There’s a good chance Philadelphia just lets Turner walk this summer to get that clean slate, anyway. But there’s certainly a team – maybe Charlotte – that value a half-season of production from Turner. The 76ers should cash in on that and get value before losing Turner.
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