Since Kara Lawson’s departure for Duke towards the tail end of last season, the Celtics have been an assistant coach short. That deficit in the coaching ranks is likely to be fulfilled in the coming days, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that former Celtic Evan Turner is finalizing a deal to return to Boston as an assistant coach.
Turner is a 10-year NBA veteran who was chosen 2nd overall in 2010. The Ohio State alumn spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, and finally the Atlanta Hawks where he played 19 games last season.
Arguably, Turner’s most efficient seasons came during his Celtics tenure, during the early Brad Stevens’ days. Participating in 163 games (69 as a starter), while averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, eventually earning himself a big payday from Portland worth $70 million over four years.
As reported by Shams, Turner is most likely going to focus on player development at his role. Despite having a wealth of coaching experience on the roster, the Celtics don’t currently possess a coach with vast NBA playing experience, making this move hold greater significance.
Here’s a list of the current Celtics coaching staff, and their playing experience;
- Brad Stevens - Played D3 at DePauw University, moving into coaching upon graduating
- Jerome Allen - Brief NBA career before moving on to the European league
- Brandon Bailey - Played basketball at high school
- Jay Larranaga - Highly successful EuroLeague career
- Joe Mazzulla - Played D1 at West Virginia
- Scott Morrison - Played college basketball in Canada
- Jamie Young - No playing experience
Turner’s addition provides a much needed veteran presence to the Celtics coaching staff, and will hopefully help the younger players on the roster (of which there are many) adjust to life in the league.
Turner’s playing career saw him participate in 705 NBA games, with 295 coming as a starter. Throughout his career, Turner averaged 9.7 points, 4.6 rebound, and 3.5 assists per game while shooting, 43.4% from the field, 29.4% from deep and 78.2% from the line.