While Indiana Pacers front office head Kevin Pritchard had indicated last off-season he wanted to keep his core group together, the organization has changed that stance following an ugly start to th 2021-22 campaign. This could lead to Myles Turner being dealt.
Even with new head coach Rick Carlisle in the mix, Indiana sits at 10-16 on the season and boasts the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. It’s led to reports that the Pacers are set to start anew with a rebuild, including trading Turner.
If that is indeed the case, there’s going to be a huge market for his services. Turner, 25, remains one of the best low-post defenders in the NBA. This season, he’s averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds while swatting away a league-high 2.8 blocks per game. Below, we look at four ideal Myles Turner trade scenarios.
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Myles Turner trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves
- Timberwolves get: Myles Turner
- Pacers get: Malik Beasley, Naz Reid, two second-round picks
J. Michael of the Indy Star reported this past summer that Minnesota really wanted to acquire Turner in a trade with Indiana. It makes a ton of sense. Sure Karl-Anthony Towns is as skilled as they come offensively. Unfortunately, he continues to struggle on the other end of the court. It’s one of the major downfalls for the young team.
Acquiring Turner from Indiana would give the Wolves that defensive-minded presence both in the low-post and out on the perimeter to go with Patrick Beverley. It would help create a more balanced roster to go with Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell.
From Indiana’s perspective, this is about starting anew with that rebuild. Naz Reid would be the centerpiece in the blockbuster. The former second-round pick from LSU continues to play at a high level. Still only 22, he’s averaging 10.3 points on 49% shooting in his career. Meanwhile, Beasley remains only 25 and could end up being a part of Indiana’s future. The team might also think about flipping him for more assets.
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Myles Turner trade to the Portland Trail Blazers
- Trail Blazers get: Myles Turner
- Pacers get: Anfernee Simons, Robert Covington, first-round pick
It remains to be seen whether Indiana will target draft picks or young players as the team starts anew with a rebuild. Perhaps, it goes with a combination of the two. If that is indeed the case, Portland could make the most sense as a trade partner.
At 22, Simons has star potential written all over him. He’s averaging a career-best 12.0 points per game while shooting 38% from distance. Imagine Simons and Chris Duarte teaming up together in the Pacers’ backcourt. That’d be fun.
As for Portland, it’s clear that Damian Lillard wants more of a defensive presence if he’s going to remain in the Pacific Northwest. Sure he’s focusing more on wing defenders, but Dame would not push back against adding Turner to the mix in the low-post. New interim Blazers general manager Joe Cronin could then use other assets to find that wing for Lillard.
Myles Turner trade to the Charlotte Hornets
- Hornets get: Myles Turner
- Pacers get: P.J. Washington, Mason Plumlee, James Bouknight
This would be the definition of Charlotte going into full-scale win-now mode under Michael Jordan. Adding Turner to the mix is the equivalent of creating an ideal starting five. The core of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges and Myles Turner is all sorts of legit.
For Indiana, this might make the most sense. Not only does it add a still-young 23-year-old forward, the team picks up Charlotte’s first-round selection in 2021. Bouknight could very well team up with Duarte to form a dynamic backcourt for the better part of the next decade.
Myles Turner trade to the Los Angeles Lakers
- Lakers get: Myles Turner
- Pacers get: Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, Kendruck Nunn, first-round pick
Defense. Defense. More defense. That has to be the name of the game as the Lakers look to be active ahead of the NBA trade deadline. This is true both on the perimeter and in the low-post. Under this scenario, Los Angeles adds a still-young center with unlimited upside to its core group. Making a move for Turner would also enable Anthony Davis to play more at the four. It’s ideal.
Of all the players heading back to Indiana in these hypotheticals, Horton-Tucker might be the best fit. LeBron James sees the 21-year-old guard as a future star. He boasts the two-way ability to be the centerpiece in a rebuild. Add in an impressive Reaves as well as a future first-round pick, and Indiana would pull the trigger on this trade in short order.