Pacers let Evan Turner become unrestricted free agent

Evan Turner will be an unrestricted free agent as the Pacers declined his qualifying offer.

Earlier than expected, considering he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, shooting guard Evan Turner will be an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.M. Tuesday.

The Indiana Pacers, who acquired Turner from the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade during last season, will not extend a qualifying offer of $8.7 million on the final year of his rookie deal, two people familiar with Indiana’s decision told USA TODAY Sports.

The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the Pacers made the news official.

Turner has the ability to score, and he is also a strong rebounding guard and capable passer. In the right situation, he can be an asset, and there will be interest in him. Expect teams to start making offers when the top-tier free agents make their choices.

This gives Turner a chance at a fresh start after an uneven time in Philadelphia and a forgetful three-month stint with the Pacers.

Turner was expected to give the Pacers a better chance at beating Miami in the playoffs, but Turner played in just one game (four minutes) in the six-game series. Had Indiana extended the qualifying offer, Turner would have been a restricted free agent. But the Pacers did not want to use $8.7 million of their cap space on Turner.

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He has averaged 11.1 points, five rebounds and 3.2 assists in his four seasons. He averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 2012-13 but after that season, in which the Sixers made the playoffs, ownership decided to rebuild and Turner was not part of those plans.

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