The Sixers, to no one's surprise, selected Ohio State shooting guard Evan Turner with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, pairing him with budding Jrue Holiday, who established himself last season as Philadelphia's point guard for today and many years into the future.
Together, Turner and Holiday should be making the backcourt sing, something the Sixers have lacked in recent years. It's the front court now where they still have work to do.
Holiday, the Sixers 17th pick a year ago, started 51 games last season at 19 years old. He turned 20 last week.
Turner, who played three seasons at Ohio State, will come into the league older and wiser, and even more promising. At 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, he is a terrific ball handler and passer, able to score from a variety of ways.
Turner led the Big Ten Conference in scoring (20.4 ppg), and rebounding (9.2 rpg), while averaging 6 assists and 1.7 steals, showing a versatility that is unmatched in this draft. He won both the John Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy as the best player in college basketball.
The Sixers flirted with other potential picks, like Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech and Wesley Johnson of Syracuse, but they kept coming back to Turner and what he could do for the backcourt.
Helped by ball-handling of Holiday, Turner should be able to get plenty of scoring opportunities, creating for himself and for others with his size and athleticism.
Turner improved steadily since arrival at Ohio State, wisely waiting until after his junior season to make himself eligible for the NBA Draft, which was lucky for the Sixers and first-year coach Doug Collins, who can't wait to get started on his very young but very promising backcourt.