Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner has to be considered one of the better defensive low-post players in the entire NBA.
Unfortunately for Turner, the Pacers don’t view him in that manner. He’s firmly on the trade block, something that Pacers president Kevin Pritchard pretty much confirmed in comments to the media.
Amid these trade rumors, Turner took time out of his day Thursday to put the Pacers’ organization on absolute blast.
“It’s clear that I’m not valued as anything more than a glorified role player here, and I want something more, more opportunity. I’m trying really hard to make the role that I’m given here work and find a way to maximize it,” Myles Turner said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I’ve been trying to the past two, three seasons. But it’s clear to me that, just numbers-wise, I’m not valued as more than a rotational role player, and I hold myself in a higher regard than that.”
That’s a pretty strong rebuke of the Pacers’ organization. And for good reason. With Indiana struggling big time through the first quarter of the 2021-22 campaign, it’s becoming clear that there’s larger-scale issues behind the scene.
The team attempted to make former head coach Nate Bjorkgren a fall guy by firing him after one season. However, things are not going any better under new head coach Rick Carlisle. Indiana is 11-16 on the season and boasts the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
Myles Turner sounds off, a trade could be coming
Turner’s comments come amid a pretty individual season for the 6-foot-11 center. He leads the NBA in blocks with 2.8 per game and ranks 19th in defensive plus-minus and 14th in defensive win shares.
Myles Turner stats: 12.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 53% shooting, 40% three-point
As you can see, Turner has also expanded his offensive game to the perimeter. Since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, he’s shooting 36% from distance and hitting 1.3 treys per outing.
As for a potential trade, Pritchard made sure to respond to Turner in a subtle manner.
“If they ever want to ask me anything, they can ask me anything,” the embattled president said. “When we get close to making a trade, we don’t try to just bop a guy over the head with, ‘Oh, by the way, you’re traded.’ We will give them a heads up, and we’ve done that multiple times.”
Related: Ideal Myles Turner trade scenarios
Turner has been linked to multiple teams since his name first appeared on the trade block last year. Most recently, there’s talk of the league-best Golden State Warriors having interest in him. They have assets in that of youngsters James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to offer up Indiana in a potential trade.
The fit would make sense with Turner being a floor-spacing and defensive-minded presence to team up with other elite-level defenders in Golden State’s frontcourt in that of Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. Right now, the Warriors boast the best defense in the NBA and have four players ranked within the top 15 when it comes to defensive rating.