The problem, one league executive said, is that Turner can become a restricted free agent this summer—or unrestricted, if the Sixers decide not to extend the $8.7 million qualifying offer he is slated for this offseason. If Turner is to become an unrestricted free agent, trading for him now makes little sense.
“It wouldn’t be smart to give up assets for a player you think you can just sign on your own in July,” one general manager said. “If you don’t need to trade anything away to get him, then why would you?”
The Thunder, who will own Dallas’ draft pick this year if it is outside of the Top 20, expressed interest in Turner earlier in the year. A source said, too, that Phoenix—which potentially has four first-round picks in the 2014 draft and would be willing to part with at least one—discussed Turner with the Sixers, but nothing solid resulted.
Turner’s name popped up earlier in the year with the Thunder from a mostly made up rumor from a pretty shaky source.
But this is a bit more concrete, and with the deadline approaching (Feb. 20), there’s a solid chance the Thunder are players. With some solid assets in hand, and a few potentially expendable pieces, if there’s a deal that makes sense for OKC that doesn’t impact the long-term picture, Presti won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
Turner’s a tough one to see happening. He makes $6.7 million this season, so finding a deal to match salaries would be complicated, unless the Thunder were willing to break over the tax for essentially a four-month rental of him.