Jay Bilas: Myles Turner Not Quite Ready for the NBA


Now that the Texas basketball season is over, the waiting game begins with Myles Turner. Will the talented freshman leave Austin for the lucrative playground that is the NBA?

Turner endured an up-and-down season. His role was undefined. He started a few games, but mostly came off the bench as Rick Barnes went with a three guard lineup, and opted to start Connor Lammert over Turner.

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When he was on the court, Turner flashed his potential. He was third on the team in scoring (10.1), but led the team in rebounding and blocked shots. He excelled in the latter. Turner had five or more blocks in nine of Texas’ games. He had 10 or more rebounds in seven games this year. Turner really made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball.

Offensively, there were a handful of games where he looked ready to breakout. He had 16 points in a tough home loss to Iowa State. He single-handily kept Texas in a road game against Oklahoma, scoring 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and six blocks. For the most part, however, he was a non-factor on offense. Turner failed to score in double digits in Texas’ last five games.

So is Turner ready for the NBA? Draftniks peg him as a first round pick. Not everyone is convinced he is.

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas doesn’t believe Turner is ready. He told Austin radio station 104.9 The Horn host Alex Loeb that Turner is an unfinished product.

Mar 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Myles Turner (52) shoots the ball over Butler Bulldogs forward Andrew Chrabascz (45) during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

“Myles Turner is a terrific prospect and a terrific talent,“ said Bilas. “He is not a terrific player right now. He’s behind, he’s behind in a number of areas.”

Bilas believes that Turner will develop into a great player, but that it will take time. The NBA might not be where Turner would end up initially, at least in Bilas’ opinion.

“If he went into the NBA right now, he would be in the D League.”

Whether or not you buy into what Bilas is saying, the truth is we didn’t see the best of Myles Turner this season. The talent is there, it just wasn’t present every night. He would be best served to come back for at least another year.

One variable that could sway Turner to stay (or go) is the future of his coach. Barnes was on the hot seat for most of the year. Another early departure from the NCAA Tournament didn’t help his case. Barnes is known to sit his players after they make a mistake. This can lead to guys playing scared.

There were games where Turner was on the bench for long periods of time. Apparently he made a lot of mistakes (thus proving Bilas’ point that he is not yet a terrific player).

Turner would be smart to weigh the pros and cons of making the jump to the NBA. No doubt there are general managers enamored with his athletic ability and would use and early draft pick on the 6-foot-11 big man who can shoot from the perimeter. This leaves Texas fans sweating out what could be yet another one-and-done player under Barnes.