PORTLAND — Former Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner was always one of the more entertaining players in the locker room during his time with the Celtics, and he hasn’t lost his touch since joining the Portland Trail Blazers.
On the Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Wednesday, Turner said he expects that Celtics coach Brad Stevens will win a championship at some point in his career.
Asked about those comments by a Celtics media contingent on Sunday, Turner joked the only way to win a title in Boston was to bring him back.
“You guys are going to bring me back one day, whether it’s GM or a president,” Turner said. “I don’t know if Danny or them are going to be done. Or just as one of the players, I’ll get my sixth-man award or something, and then I’ll go do the Iguodala thing. I’ll get Finals MVP, and me and Brad ride off into the sunset together with Brady (Stevens, Brad’s son). So I think obviously he’s probably just trying to figure out a way to get me back and go get that championship. That’s the only way I can see it working.”
Stevens probably wouldn’t go that far, but he did express fondness for his former guard.
“Evan has always been a guy who is really aware of who he is as a basketball player, and you can see that on the court,” Stevens said. “He’s a really good defender, knows what he does well, knows what he doesn’t do well, and he looks way more comfortable in year three than he did in year one here. I’m really happy for him.”
“He’s a really good teammate,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts added. “He loves the game, he loves competing, his teammates have a lot of respect for what he can do on both ends of the court, and he’s a funny guy.
“I don’t get sick of (hearing him talk), but he does talk.”
Other pre-game notes:
– Daniel Theis was upgraded from questionable to probable. He said his goal for himself was to get one game on the current road trip.
“I was hoping the whole time,” Theis said. “The medical staff said we have to be patient, season is long, but I was hoping for one game on this road trip.”
Brad Stevens wasn’t as optimistic as his second-year big, however.
“I was told that he would recover well and it wouldn’t be as bad as it sounded, but I wouldn’t have guessed two weeks and a day,” Stevens said. “So that was a pleasant surprise this morning.”
Theis said he went through a full workout on Saturday and felt good. He added he wouldn’t be playing if he still felt pain.
“It took some time,” Theis said. “When I had the boot on, I was off my feet for like three days, so I wasn’t able to run. So we built up slowly over the 10-, 11-day trip. So we built up slowly the volume of running, lifting, all that stuff.”
– Stevens downplayed his interest in the trade that netted Jimmy Butler for the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I mean, Philly is a really good team,” Stevens said. “They were a really good team two days ago. They’re a really good team now. I think our focus needs to be on us playing our best basketball right now. He’s obviously a heck of a player, but I haven’t put too much thought into it, to be honest.”
Turner, however, had thoughts.
“Are you nervous?” Turner asked the Celtics reporters gathered around his locker, grinning. “It’s gonna be good for that team. I know Philly was looking for ball-handlers, and then a couple of years ago everyone was a shooter and I wasn’t a shooter, and those people are needed more than you think. Somebody has to get the ball to the shooters. You have a great defender, a wing who’s going to go up against a lot of other wings and take up a lot of attention. He’s very experienced going up the best wing every night, and come playoff time it could be a different kind of game.”