The New York Knicks promise to be active during the start of NBA free agency on Monday. They have north of $52 million to spend and have been linked to some of the top players set to hit the market.
It’s also no surprise that the up-and-coming Knicks are also looking at potential trade options with other big names being bandied about.
According to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, that includes star Pacers big man Myles Turner. The reporter went on to provide a caveat, noting that “so far, (it’s) not happening.”
While the Pacers are doing everything possible to remain relevant in the Eastern Conference under new head coach Rick Carlisle, Turner’s name continues to come up in trade talks.
There’s multiple layers to this. It’s not yet known whether Carlisle believes Turner can be a fit with two-time All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis. Secondly, interest in Turner’s services have not been what we’d call reserved. For good reason.
Still only 25, Turner averaged a league-high 3.4 blocks per game last season. He’s also expanded his shooting to beyond the three-point arc (35% over the past three seasons). That type of two-way ability is not common.
As for the New York Knicks’ interest in Turner, it can’t be considered too surprising. They have a need at center with Mitchell Robinson coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Adding the still-young center to a frontcourt that already includes wing R.J. Barrett and reigning NBA Comeback Player of the Year Julius Randle would be big time.
How can the New York Knicks pry Myles Turner away from the Indiana Pacers?
Let’s look at this from Indiana’s perspective first. The team boasts a solid perimeter grouping in Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren and recently-drafted stud three-point shooter Chris Duarte. It’s likely that any centerpiece in a Turner blockbuster would have to include low-post depth.
That’s where the Knicks might actually make sense as a trade partner. New York could hypothetically offer up Robinson as one of the centerpieces. Here’s how it might look.
- New York Knicks get: Myles Turner
- Indiana Pacers get: Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, future furst-round pick
Assuming the Knicks add a top-end point guard in free agency, this could set the team up well for a conference title run in 2021-22. It also gives them an ability to sign a max-contract free agent such as Kyle Lowry or Mike Conley.
In turn, the Pacers would be acquiring a high-upside lottery pick in Toppin as well as a center in Mitchell Robinson who might end up being a better fit with Sabonis in the low-post.
It’s just one of many different options for New York heading into the start of free agency Monday evening. Expect this team to be in on some of the bigger names available either on the open market or via the trade block after earning surprise playoff appearance in 2020-21. That could very well include acquiring Myles Turner. Time will tell on this front.