During the NBA pre-draft process, prospects are often judged off of their strengths and weaknesses. The one glaring weakness often attached to Myles Turner’s name is somewhat odd, but it’s been hovering over him for awhile: his running style.
Turner’s running has been a cause for concern for draft evaluators, leaving many wondering if it will cause long-term effects on his knees.
“His awkward running style, might not change anytime soon, though,” Draft Express notes in their breakdown of Turner. “[He] noticeably lumbers getting up and down the floor, and only made five field goals (out of 13 attempts) all season in transition situations, according to Synergy Sports Technology.”
Given the concerns of his running style, Turner and his team of advisors (his agent Andy Miller, his father, and his trainer Ken Roberson) opted to stay ahead of the issue and go through extensive tests and evaluations at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The idea behind the tests was to show that Turner is 100 percent healthy and just needs to work on mechanics to improve his running and lateral quickness.
The results showed exactly that. The 27-page report revealed that Turner is fine, but suffers from weakness in his left and right gluteus medius muscles, which are located inside the hip and help control balance. Fortunately for Turner, this issue can be corrected with various exercises and workouts. The findings of this report were sent to all 30 teams in the NBA, including those workouts that can be done to correct the problem.
He brings a typical big man skill set to the NBA with good size at 6’11, 242 lbs. and the ability to rebound and block shots well. He also has a jump shot that can prove to be extremely dangerous given some more work.
Turner averaged 10.1 points on 45.5 percent shooting from the field, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his freshman year at Texas. Per 40 minutes, Turner’s numbers improved to 18.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game.
“There’s stuff that I do well, but I’m working on all aspects of my game right now,” Turner said Thursday at the Combine. “I haven’t played at the NBA level yet. I’ve had success at the college level but at the NBA level, [I’m] not sure what my weakness or my strengths are.
“I [am] someone who’s ready to learn. I consider myself a student of the game. I won’t settle for failure; I want success and an NBA championship. It seems teams need to know that.”
Despite the questions surrounding his running mechanics, Turner is still projected to be a lottery pick in next month’s draft. Trying to determine where Turner might end up seems to be easier said than done at this point. In Basketball Insiders’ latest consensus mock draft, Turner is projected to go as high as the 11th pick and as low as the 18th pick.
Until the draft order is set on Tuesday in the lottery, most players’ fate will be unknown. If the lottery odds hold up (and they rarely do), Turner could go to the Indiana Pacers at No. 11 or as low as the Houston Rockets at 18, based on those projections. At the Thursday session of the Combine, Turner only revealed that he he had met with the Detroit Pistons.
“I have talked to the Pistons,” Turner said. “It was a good interview. Coach [Stan] Van Gundy, I talked to him. They really wanted to see what I was about; they really brought it out of me.”
Turner was asked if he could see himself playing next to Pistons center Andre Drummond.
“Yeah, I can,” Turner said. “I have versatility in my game. Andre Drummond is more of a rim-protector, he can play down low and not much of a jump shooter. If that’s interchangeable, then I can [play with him].”
For Turner now, he must show teams what he can bring. He stated numerous times that he’ll let his agent handle booking the workouts and interviews. For prospects each year, the combine process and individual workouts are a time when they can sell themselves to potential teams.
Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton began last season’s draft process projected to go in the early second round. Payton dominated workouts and often out-played other prospects during drills and quickly climbed draft boards before eventually getting picked at No. 10 by the Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic fell in love with Payton and would eventually trade for him. While Turner is projected to go inside the top 20, there is still room to improve. Turner will be able to show teams his work ethic and prove that he’s willing to put in the work to correct his mechanics.
Turner and his 7’4 wingspan will surely be attractive to teams in need of a solid prospect who can play the four or five. Publishing the findings of that 27-page report shows that Turner has the confidence in himself to move past those issues and work toward success and that NBA championship he desires.
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