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Evan Turner out to make chance with Celtics count

Evan Turner could smile Monday at media day after the team announced a two-year deal with him for just under $7 million.Elise Amendola/Associated Press

WALTHAM — Evan Turner will get a third opportunity to prove worthy of being the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and he fully understands the perception that he has been a bust through the first four years of his career.

While he flourished at times with the 76ers, he never became the expected cornerstone. And the Pacers’ acquiring him last February as perhaps the missing piece for a title run failed miserably as he spent most of the playoffs on the bench.

So he is now with the Celtics, having officially signed a two-year contract for just under $7 million to compete for minutes at both guard positions and small forward. When at his best, Turner is a versatile scorer with a formidable post game, but his career has been marred by inconsistency and he’s had solid, but not stellar, numbers.


“I just think the bigger thing, whatever is with the numbers and stuff, I think sometimes I get misunderstood,” he said Monday at media day. “The real Evan Turner is a competitor, a winner, and a guy who works hard every single day. I think sometimes if you don’t play well, people start attacking you as a person, start attacking your character. I’m a blue-collar guy and I work really hard and the results are going to be the results.”

Before the trade to Indiana, Turner was flourishing for the 76ers, averaging 17.4 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, and his agent, David Falk, said he asked general manager Sam Hinkie not to trade Turner. With the Pacers, Turner primarily came off the bench but was limited to just 149 minutes in 12 postseason games, hardly the impact he expected.

“I honestly thought I did the best I could,” he said. “I tried to fit in the best I could. One thing that put a big hit on [my reputation] is I wasn’t putting up 15 or 16 points a game. I felt like I took a big hit on that. I don’t think it was me not fitting in, it was I didn’t do what people expected me to do.”


That seems to have been a theme of his career, especially after expectations were brimming following a brilliant career at Ohio State, where he won several National Player of the Year awards as a junior.

“There’s a hundred ways you can attack the topic of me and how my career’s gone,” he said. “The one thing I say is I’m getting better every year. When you mention my name, you either say No. 2 pick before or after my name. So a lot comes with that as well. I’m over those past four years and I’m just worried about each day now.”

Giving his side

A Spanish newspaper reported in August that Celtics center Vitor Faverani was arrested for driving three times above the legal alcohol limit in an accident with a bus in Valencia.

Faverani said the story was fabricated, accusing the reporter of exaggerating the details.

“There’s no truth,” he said. “Somebody in Spain tried to kill [his reputation] but he can’t because nothing happened. I’m here. Everybody knows in Spain that it’s not true, so I don’t care about this.”

Faverani, entering his second season, said he talked with Celtics management and added that his representatives in Spain corroborated his story.


“It was not a car ‘accident,’ ” he said. “I just broke one light [on the front of his car] . . . but [the reporter] pulled out a lot of things like jail, which is not true.”

Faverani is coming off an uneven rookie season that began with promise but ended with him having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Faverani said he is healthy, although coach Brad Stevens said the team will monitor Faverani and Gerald Wallace, also recovering from knee surgery, in the early days of training camp.

The starting center position is open with Faverani and Tyler Zeller the main competitors. Faverani struggled last season with conditioning, as well as consistency. His minutes dipped from 16.2 per game in November to 8.8 in January.

“I try to improve everywhere, but maybe try to get better in the low post a little bit more,” he said. “I don’t want to think too much about last season. I just hope this season goes well, no problems, play minutes and play good every game, that’s what I want.”

What’s old is new

The Celtics wore their road uniforms that will read “Boston” on the front for the first time in 50 seasons. The Celtics have worn special or alternate uniforms with “Boston” across the front in past years, but this is the first time since the Bill Russell era that they will wear the city name on the predominant road uniform . . . Wallace said he was cleared to participate in practice but is not 100 percent. He said he hasn’t played five-on-five, having just been cleared to run three weeks ago. Wallace said he plans to use camp to reach full health by opening night . . . Center Joel Anthony will miss the first few days of camp with a strained groin . . . The Celtics officially announced Turner’s signing and waived guard John Lucas III and swingman Malcolm Thomas to reduce the roster to the maximum 20. The club kept center Erik Murphy, who prepped at St. Mark’s in Southborough before playing at Florida and briefly with the Bulls. The Celtics also retained rookie forward Dwight Powell from the Cleveland trade . . . Former Celtic Chris Johnson was claimed off waivers by the 76ers and will be in their camp . . . The Celtics have hired former forward Leon Powe to a undetermined position with the organization. Powe, 30, was part of the 2008 championship team, but was forced to retire in 2011 because of knee problems.


Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.