As expected, Ohio State junior point guard Evan Turner announced Wednesday that he will enter the NBA draft. The announcement marked the end of his time at OSU, and the focus now turns to Turner’s life as a professional basketball player.
After withdrawing from classes, Turner will begin preparing himself for the draft, which will take place on June 24. The first step will likely be hiring an agent, and then presumably select a location to train, something that Turner says shouldn’t be too difficult of a decision.
“I haven’t really fully selected an agent yet because I just made the decision last night,” Turner said. “I’m not sure where I’m going to work out or anything like that, but anywhere where there’s a rim and a ball that’s fine.”
OSU coach Thad Matta said he spoke with NBA scouts and that they had plenty of good things to say about Turner. Matta couldn’t say specifically where scouts told him Turner would be drafted.
“I think he’s going to be in really good shape,” Matta said. “They love a lot of things about his game.”
The consensus is that Turner will be at least a top three pick, and possibly be drafted behind only Kentucky’s John Wall, who also declared for the draft Wednesday. As such a high pick, it is likely, if not definite, that Turner will play for one of the league’s worst teams.
Depending on how the draft plays out, Turner could end up in a New Jersey Nets uniform, a team that may end the year with 70 losses. For someone who Matta said is one of the most competitive players he’s ever coached, the futility may be difficult to handle.
But Turner said it is just all part of the process.
“I don’t plan on losing, but if it happens I always say you have to pay your dues,” Turner said. “The most important part is learning from your losses. You have to have confidence and be committed to the mission.”
The question remains, however, what position will the Buckeye point guard play in the NBA?
In his first two years at OSU, Turner played mostly forward before making the move to the point. The lack of a true point guard on the Buckeye roster may have forced the move, but Turner thrived at the position en route to winning a bevy of national awards.
With his size and myriad of skills on the offensive end, however, the possibility remains that he could play a number of different positions. Turner said he doesn’t know what position he expects to play, but he doesn’t plan on preparing any differently.
“I just think I’m a basketball player,” Turner said. “I don’t know, I’m not the coach and I don’t know what type of coach or staff I’m going to have.
“I’m just going to do the same thing I’ve been doing, be the first one in the gym and the last one out of it.”