As the NBA rumor mill heats up, reports suggest that the league’s leading shot-blocker could be on the move. As many as five teams have been linked to the Indiana Pacers’ starting center. Let’s take a look at how a deal for the Defensive Player of the Year candidate could work as the Myles Turner trade rumors are reviewed.
Myles Turner Trade Rumors
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are mentioned in nearly every trade or buyout rumor around the league. Turner fits perfectly with the Lakers. A true rim protector, Turner is averaging three blocks per game and has a career three-point percentage in the mid-thirties. Adding Turner would not only address the biggest issue the Lakers face defensively, but his offensive play matches well with what LeBron James likes to have on the court. Unfortunately for them, the Pacers will have a high asking price for Turner. The Lakers have little to offer in draft assets and would likely have to send Talen Horton-Tucker, Kyle Kuzma, or Montrezl Harrell to Indianapolis. With a potential Hassan Whiteside trade and a chance at Andre Drummond, I don’t see the Lakers making this move for Turner.
Los Angeles Clippers
Staying out west, the Los Angeles Clippers have also been mentioned as potential suitors for Turner. Another good fit on the court, Turner can provide the Clippers with a true rim protector. Paul George once played with Turner in Indianapolis, which may help speed up the transition for Turner offensively. The Clippers have a chance at making a deal with Indianapolis, who will certainly want assets in return for Turner. The Clippers could pair Ivica Zubac and Luke Kennard with Lou Williams to try to entice the Pacers. I think the Pacers would want more draft equity in order to make this move. The Clippers will likely need a third team to make a deal work.
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans being mentioned as a trade partner for Turner came as a surprise. The Pelicans have draft picks to offer the Pacers. The $18 million owed to Turner this season is the issue here. To make a trade, the Pelicans will have to match that number in player salary. Unless they can convince the Pacers to take on the expiring contracts of either JJ Redick or Lonzo Ball, there is just no way to make the math work for a trade here.
Heading to the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Hornets have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Turner as well. The Hornets certainly have something that the Pacers want. This offseason, there were rumors of a sign and trade offer between the Pacers and the Boston Celtics for Gordon Hayward. It is believed that the Celtics wanted either TJ Warren or Victor Oladipo to be paired with Turner instead of Doug Mcdermott. If the Hornets wanted to, they could make that trade with the Pacers now. However, I doubt Charlotte is willing to part with their leading scorer to acquire Turner. A package that includes Cody Zeller and a stack of draft picks may be a more realistic option. It’s not likely to happen, but the Hornets have a better chance at a straight-up trade than those previously mentioned.
New York Knicks
Of all the teams rumored to be after Turner, the New York Knicks may have the best chance of making a deal with the Pacers. The Knicks have both draft assets and young players to entice Indianapolis. If the Knicks are willing to part with the likes of Obi Toppin or Kevin Knox, they may be able to put together an intriguing package with an expiring contract and a draft pick. New York could offer Nerlens Noel in this package or possibly Elfrid Payton since they are overstocked at point guard with the emergence of Immanuel Quickley and the recent trade for Derrick Rose. The Pacers may not be eager to trade with their long-time rivals, but the Knicks could be their best bet.
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