Ex-Celtic Evan Turner Fires Cryptic Shot at Giannis Antetokounmpo

Evan Turner

Getty Evan Turner

On September 12, two-time NBA MVP and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo went on the record explaining why he chooses not to work out with other NBA players during the offseason during an interview on the 48 Minutes podcast.

“I don’t know how to be phony. I don’t know how to be fake. That’s why I kind of keep my distance, because I know that if I work out with people, it takes active players, it takes off my edge when I play against them,” Antetokoumnpo said.

Former Boston Celtics player Evan Turner then sent a cryptic shot at Antetokounmpo via his X account on September 13, tweeting, “Ain’t nobody coming to Milwaukee to work out wit you and your brother.”

This is in reference to both Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis, who has been with the Bucks since 2019. Turner clearly believes that stars aren’t exactly dying to go to Milwaukee to work out with Antetokounmpo, unlike places like New York or Los Angeles.

Turner played for the Celtics from 2014 to 2016, helping them make the playoffs in both years before leaving in free agency. After playing the remainder of his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Turner then briefly returned to the Celtics as an assistant coach during the 2020-21 season.

Celtics Signing Cam Payne Seems Unlikely: Analyst

MassLive’s Brian Robb explained why he doesn’t think it’s likely the Celtics will go after free agent guard Cam Payne.

“Seeing that Boston’s biggest depth weak spot is in the frontcourt right now, it’s hard to envision a Payne pursuit for a couple of reasons,” Robb wrote in a September 12 story. “First, the opportunity for him as a minimum free agent would not be there in Boston’s backcourt as currently composed. White, Brown, Brogdon, and Pritchard (who the team is very high on during camp) will eat up the lion’s share of minutes in the backcourt. That makes a path for regular playing time for Payne a tough sell.”

Robb added that Payne’s numbers show he’s not much better than what the Celtics already have.

“Payne averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 assists in 48 games for the Suns last season. However, his shooting splits (41 percent from the field) are a step down from most of Boston’s regular, and he’s been an average 3-point shooter (36 percent) throughout his career. Add in his size limitations defensively, and he’s not necessarily someone that Joe Mazzulla would want to play over anyone currently in his top-10 on the roster.”

It is tough to see the Celtics or Payne wanting the other knowing what they want, but if say, the Celtics trade one of their guards, it may become a different story.

Celtics Would Welcome Kelly Oubre, But Signing Not Likely

Robb explained that while the Celtics would add Kelly Oubre Jr. if they had the chance, but explained why he doesn’t believe they’ll ever get one.

“The Celtics would surely take him for the minimum, but he’s likely holding out for a bigger role elsewhere for (that) type of money,” Robb wrote in a September 8 mailbag. “It’s a little crazy to see a guy who averaged 20 points per game last year have to settle for the minimum. Then again, doing it for a tanking team while shooting 31 percent from 3 doesn’t earn you many accolades.”

Oubre would be a fine addition to the Celtics, but he’s a little too overqualified to be a backup wing for the Celtics. While his options are limited, he probably wants to play for a team who, at the very least, should give him a chance to get a bigger payday.