Turner, who was recently voted by the league’s general managers as third-most likely to have a breakout season in 2016-17, averaged 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 49 percent shooting during his rookie season, earning him a spot on the 2015-16 All-Rookie Second Team and an invitation to join Team USA’s Select Team.
After suffering a concussion which caused him to miss the first two games of Indiana’s exhibition slate, the 20-year-old has appeared poised to leap, both figuratively and literally.
In Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee, Turner flirted with a double-double, posting 16 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks on 50 percent shooting while only committing two fouls. More impressive is that he recorded that stat line without logging a single minute in the fourth quarter.
Though the young big man has a tendency to do some strange things on defense and would benefit from extending his shooting range out beyond the arc, his coveted dual-ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim in tandem with his refreshing public sense of self-awareness make it a near certainty that the next decision to exercise his option will be able to be described the same as today’s: a mere formality.
There’s comfort in this decision being boring.