When Texas freshman Myles Turner hears his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft on June 25, don't expect a scene.
He'll walk up to the podium in a clean-cut suit - no bow ties or loud colors - and will shake commissioner Adam Silver's hand - no hugs - before posing with the uniform of the team that employs the talented 6-foot-11 athlete. There won't be anything boisterous or comedic about that night for Turner, because the 19-year-old already understands he's entering a business that will command his best each day.
"I’m going to keep it strictly professional. It’s a business now, and that’s how I’m going to approach it," Turner said at the NBA Draft Combine. "Since I was a kid, it’s been a dream of mine."
Turner isn't sure when he'll be selected in next month's draft, in part because he stays as far away from mocks draft as he can. "That's my agent's job. That's why I hired him," Turner deadpans.
But teenagers who stand 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, weigh 240 pounds and have the shooting touch of a guard usually don't have to wait long on draft night. Turner, the No. 9 high school recruit in the 2014 class, became a surefire lottery pick after his lone season at Texas; he started only seven games but appeared in all 34 for the Longhorns, averaging 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game.
[NBA DRAFT PROFILE: Texas forward Myles Turner]
He didn't have the same impact as some of his fellow top-10 classmates - Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones keyed Duke to a national title, Karl-Anthony Towns led Kentucky to a perfect regular season, and Stanley Johnson led the 34-win Arizona Wildcats in scoring - instead choosing the hometown Longhorns over the likes of Kansas, Ohio State and a host of other high-major schools. That meant sitting behind senior Jonathan Holmes and junior Cameron Ridley, who like Turner was a five-star recruit out of high school, while learning the ropes of the college game.
Turner was a mixed bag all year, perhaps more indicative of a typical freshman than what his class made it appear to be. On Feb. 11 he scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes against TCU; three days later he scored 25 points and hauled in 12 rebounds, connecting on a 3-pointer and blocking three shots against Texas Tech.
He had nine games in which he recorded five or more blocked shots, yet also had six block-less games. His role diminished down the stretch as Texas opted for smaller lineups, as he averaged just 14.6 minutes in the Longhorns' three postseason games, culminating in a loss to Butler in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
But the well-spoken, confident Turner said he took those up and downs in stride.
He saw the professional side of things when head coach Rick Barnes, now at Tennessee, showed him film of LaMarcus Aldridge playing in the same burnt orange jersey. He understood the level of play he'd need to compete with at the next level when Texas alum and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant came to Austin and played pick-up games with the team over the summer. And when the ninth best recruit in the country rode the bench for all but seven games, it taught him a lesson about what may initially happen in his rookie season.
"It really matured me throughout the course of the year. It humbled me. Coming in, I was highly recruited but I came in and settled into a role," he said. "That’s what I’m going to have to do at the next level."
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He has plenty of room to grow and isn't as NBA-ready as some of the bigs ahead of him such as Okafor, Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, but his game is made for the NBA. He's a rare blend of defensive IQ, length, offensive range (he shot 84 percent from the free-throw line and hit 17 3-pointers) that'll make him a true stretch-four with the ability to eventually defend NBA centers.
NBA teams also know they're getting a player with no frills. Though he's just a year removed from his senior prom, Turner's attitude and mentality heading into the Association will give him a leg up as he learns the game, improves his offensive versatility and builds his body to bang inside on a nightly basis. There may not be a more mentally ready player in this year's class.
"It’s going to be really exciting. It really does not matter to me where I play," he said. "I just want to go out there and go somewhere where I can be used and develop and bring success to the team I’m drafted by."