Evan Turner drops in on Illini

Updated: October 15, 2011, 6:10 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner will officially begin feeling the impact of the NBA lockout after Saturday.

"Today is the last day (for my paychecks)," said Turner, who was visiting his former AAU teammate Sam Maniscalco at Illinois' scrimmage Saturday. "Then, I'll start taking donations."

Turner, who was the No. 2 pick of the 2010 draft, isn't really feeling any financial woes at this point, but he is eager to get back to work after an up-and-down rookie season.

"I get paid millions of dollars," Turner said. "You can't blow millions of dollars in a year. If you do that, that's pitiful. I'm fine.

"I just keep working. I just try to stay ready. When we hear something, I'll be ready to get back to work."

Turner hasn't been involved in any of the NBA meetings, but he has followed what's gone on and was still optimistic there would a season.

"You always got to look at the glass is half full as opposed to half empty," Turner said. "I hope at the end of the day we remember what we're doing it for -- playing for the love of the game. I think at the end of the day everyone wants to play ball.

"When money gets involved, everything gets messed up. We got to stick together. We got to stick together as a team. Both sides have to compromise, obviously. We're just going to get it done."

Turner said he might return to Ohio State to work on finishing his degree if the lockout continues. He has spent most of his offseason training in Philadelphia.

Following Illinois' scrimmage at Assembly Hall on Saturday, a handful of Illini fans recognized Turner and asked him to sign their Illinois basketball posters. Turner obliged, but he was surprised they asked considering what the former Buckeye used to do to their team.

"It's strange they want it," Turner said with a laugh.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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