Elston Turner
Minnesota Timberwolves
PositionAssistant coach
Personal information
Born (1959-06-10) June 10, 1959 (age 62)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolAustin-East (Knoxville, Tennessee)
CollegeOle Miss (1977–1981)
NBA draft1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43rd overall
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks
Playing career1981–1995
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Number33, 20, 21
Coaching career1994–present
Career history
As player:
19811984Dallas Mavericks
19841986Denver Nuggets
19861988Chicago Bulls
1988–1989Denver Nuggets
1989–1990Rockford Lightning
1990Scavolini Pesaro
1990–1991Apollon Patras
1992–1995Wichita Falls Texans / Chicago Rockers
As coach:
1994–1995Chicago Rockers
1995–1996Quad City Thunder (assistant)
19962000Portland Trail Blazers (assistant)
20002006Sacramento Kings (assistant)
20072011Houston Rockets (assistant)
20112013Phoenix Suns (assistant)
20132016Memphis Grizzlies (assistant)
20162019Sacramento Kings (assistant)
20192020Houston Rockets (assistant)
2021–presentMinnesota Timberwolves (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points2,397 (4.7 ppg)
Rebounds1,375 (2.7 rpg)
Assists914 (1.7 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Elston Howard Turner Sr. (born June 10, 1959) is an American former professional basketball player who currently works as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Playing career

A 6'5" (1.96 m) shooting guardsmall forward from the University of Mississippi, leading Ole Miss to its first ever NCAA Tournament in his senior year, Turner was selected in the second round (43rd overall) of the 1981 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks, and went on to play in eight NBA seasons from 1981 to 1989, for the Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and the Chicago Bulls. He also coached and played in the CBA — as an assistant coach for the Quad City Thunder and as a player–coach for the Chicago Rockers. He also played professionally in Europe.

Coaching career

Turner later moved to the NBA, with the Sacramento Kings (six years) and the Portland Trail Blazers (four). In 2007, he rejoined Rick Adelman's staff at the Houston Rockets.[1]

In May 2008, Turner was interviewed twice[2] for the Phoenix Suns' head coaching position which had become vacant after Mike D'Antoni left.[1] Ultimately, he was not hired.[3]

In July 2009, Turner was interviewed for the vacant Minnesota Timberwolves head coaching position.[4] Turner, along with Mark Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis, was one of three finalists vying for the job,[5] but Rambis was the Wolves' ultimate choice.[6][7]

In May 2010, Turner was interviewed for both the Philadelphia 76ers'[8] and the Chicago Bulls' vacant head coaching positions.[7] They were eventually taken by Doug Collins and Tom Thibodeau, respectively.[9] In June 2010, Turner was granted permission by the Rockets to talk to the L.A. Clippers about its vacant head coaching job.[9]

In July 2011, Turner was interviewed for a defensive coordinator position for the Phoenix Suns along with the Milwaukee Bucks' coordinator Jim Boylan, the San Antonio Spurs' coordinator Don Newman, and current Golden State Warriors' coordinator Pete Myers.[10] Turner signed a two-year contract, becoming the fifth assistant head coach for the Suns along with Bill Cartwright, Dan Majerle, Igor Kokoškov, and Noel Gillespie.

In July 2012, Turner was interviewed for the Portland Trail Blazers' vacant head coach position.[11] He was one of the final four candidates, competing against Terry Stotts, Steve Clifford, and then-interim coach Kaleb Canales.[12] Ultimately, he was not hired for the position.[13] In January 2013, Turner resigned from his assistant coach position with Phoenix. He was named an assistant coach by the Memphis Grizzlies in September 2013.[14]

On June 3, 2016, Turner joined the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach once more.[15]

On June 27, 2019, he returned to the Houston Rockets as the lead assistant coach who was added to focus on running defense—former assistant Jeff Bzdelik’s role.[16]

On August 31, 2021, Turner joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as an assistant coach.[17]


Turner's son, Elston Jr., played guard for the University of Washington Huskies men's basketball team from 2008 through 2010. He has transferred to the Texas A&M University Aggies for his junior and senior seasons.[18]


  1. ^ a b Rockets assistant Turner interviews for open Suns' job
  2. ^ Suns complete coaching interviews
  3. ^ Porter to become Suns' next head coach
  4. ^ Turner interviews with Timberwolves
  5. ^ Wolves' next coach to be named soon
  6. ^ Rambis will be Wolves head coach
  7. ^ a b NBA.com: Sources: Bulls interview Rockets' Turner about vacancy
  8. ^ Philadelphia 76ers interview Houston Rockets assistant coach Elston Turner - ESPN
  9. ^ a b Report: Houston Rockets aide Elston Turner on Los Angeles Clippers' radar - ESPN Los Angeles
  10. ^ Phoenix Suns hire Elston Turner as new defensive assistant coach
  11. ^ https://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2012/07/25/20120725phoenix-suns-trade-robin-lopez-hakim-warrick-new-orleans-hornets.html
  12. ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2012/07/trail_blazers_coaching_search_down_to_four_finalis.html
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Grizzlies announce coaching staff
  15. ^ "Kings Announce Coaching Staff for 2016-17 Season". NBA.com. June 3, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Feigen, Jonathan (June 27, 2019). "Source: Elston Turner to return to Rockets as lead assistant". www.chron.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  17. ^ "Minnesota Timberwolves Announce Coaching Staff Additions". NBA.com. August 31, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  18. ^ Ex-Huskies reserve guard Elston Turner moves to Texas A&M