The Los Angeles Lakers are approaching the NBA trade deadline further down the standings than many expected. With pressure mounting to make a move, general manager Rob Pelinka could have his eyes on Myles Turner.
Reports surfaced in December that the Indiana Pacers are open to a rebuild, either moving center Myles Turner or All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis. While a blockbuster deal hasn’t come to fruition yet, there remains a possibility that one of the two stars could be moved in February.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, rival teams are ramping up their conversations with Indiana regarding Turner and the Lakers are among the most prominent teams with interest in the NBA blocks leader.
- Myles Turner stats: 13.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 106 Defensive Rating
It’s no surprise that Los Angeles is interested in acquiring Turner. Halfway through the season, the Lakers are allowing the fifth-most points in paint per game (49.2). Turner is one of the best interior defenders in the NBA. He’s also excellent at covering up defensive mistakes made by guards when an opponent drives inside.
The Lakers would also welcome Turner’s perimeter shooting. He’s averaging a career-best 1.6 three-pointers made per game, hitting 35.7% from beyond the arc. It would serve as a nice complement to LeBron James and a healthy Anthony Davis.
However, it will be difficult for the Lakers to match what other teams can offer. The best Pelinka can hope for is Indiana expressing interest in a deal centered around Talen Horton-Tucker and future draft picks. But the Pacers are likely to get better proposals from other teams.
Ultimately, the Lakers are likely facing limited trade options in February unless a surprise team suddenly becomes interested in Russell Westbrook.