Former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner was one of the primary reasons the Boston Celtics made the playoffs in 2015-16, but he reportedly moved on Friday by signing a four-year, $70 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was the first to report the 27-year-old’s new deal.
It’s not surprising Turner signed with a different team this offseason.Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com previously noted Boston held his early Bird rights and could offer a deal that started close to only $6 million, assuming it wasn’t “willing to eat up valuable cap space” that it likely needed to pursue superstar-caliber free agents.
Forsberg said Turner was the Celtics’ “only true unrestricted free agent,” but those limited rights and his value after a couple of impressive seasons in Boston decreased the team’s chances of bringing him back before the 2016-17 campaign.
Despite the factors working against Boston’s efforts to re-sign Turner, he did suggest to Comcast SportsNet (via Forsberg) he would consider giving the team a hometown discount: “I joke with people, this is the first time I left an exit meeting and the team wanted me back.”
The same on-court traits that may have led Boston to want him back also attracted his new team. Forsberg called Turner “an invaluable Swiss Army knife” because of his overall versatility and ability to play multiple positions and contribute in a variety of ways.