By “different,” Pierce points out Turner isn’t a 3-point shooter, which makes him an enigma in today’s game. Turner made 21.2 percent of his 3-point attempts last year in Portland, taking 0.7 3’s a game.
But Pierce likes Turner’s ability to play several different roles and distribute. Turner averaged 3.9 assists per game with Portland last season and has averaged 3.5 per game in his NBA career, which began in Philadelphia in 2010. He also added 4.5 rebounds per game last season (averaging 4.7 a game over his career).
“I don’t know if he has a natural position,” Pierce said. “He can post up, put the basketball in his hands, a lot of different things he can do. That’s just how we’re going as a league, the NBA, if you have multiple playmakers, whatever size or form they come in, you feel good whenever you sub,” Pierce said.
“You’re not like, ‘Oh, God, we have to get Trae back in, he’s the only guy who can make a pass.’ We have a lot of guys who can make that pass.”
So, coming into the 2019-20 season, prepare to see Turner at several different spots.
For Turner, adapting to the Hawks’ playbook has been straightforward.
“The plays aren’t hard at all, actually,” Turner said. “I think they’re pretty simple. Right now we’re playing at a pretty fast pace. Everything is somewhat trying to figure everybody out. Guys are trying to get used to certain plays in order to do it.”