Myles Turner recently opened up about not being as valued as the Indiana Pacers possibly consider trade conversations. In an attempt to rebuild the franchise after starting a disappointing 11-16 this season, the trade speculation seems to be focused around Damontas Sabonis and Turner.
Myles Turner, a 25-year-old center, has been mentioned in trade rumors for years, but Indiana has yet to part with him. It seems this season may be his time.
Averaging 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game this season, Turner has proven to be an effective big. Should the Pacers have a fire sale, veterans like Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and Caris LeVert likely will be the ones to be shipped in an effort to emphasize the youth on their roster.
Indiana missed the playoffs last season after five straight seasons ended with first-round eliminations.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 10.
Turner voiced his opinion on how his franchise views him:
“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 not valued as more than a rotational role player, and I hold myself in a higher regard than that.”
Sabonis has been the better player in the five seasons they've played together. This season, Sabonis is averaging 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, with 26 starts. Turner is at 12.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg, also with 26 starts.
Coach Rick Carlisle explained he spoke to both Turner (29.1 minutes per game) and Sabonis (34.1 mpg) about staggering their minutes. He said:
“They both like playing together, and they were both open to doing these different kind of things and talking about them and putting them into play.”
A trade may be a step in the right direction for all parties involved.
Even though they are quoted as enjoying their shared court time, the amount of adjustments they are forced into becomes rapidly apparent. Myles and Sabonis are forced to adjust to the presence of one another when playing together.
Moving forward into a team where they can hold the big spots on their own may be the best decision.
Hearing your name in trade conversations season after season when you play an integral role on your team would wear away on anyone. When you are unhappy with something like this, you go out on the court and prove it. Turner has done that by showing his tenacious drive, but it proves to be harder to bring to light in his mediated minutes.
Turner, averaging 12.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg in 28.7 minutes per game in his seven seasons as a Pacer, seems to have had enough with not being given the opportunities he believes he deserves. He plays his role well, shoots great and plays quick and aggressive defense. So where would Turner be happy and thrive?
Myles Turner on the Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors play fast-paced, aggressive basketball on both ends of the court. From a great leader and shooter like Fred VanVleet to a young, dominant rookie power forward in Scottie Barnes, their squad loves to work fast.
While speed has been faltering due to the instability of Toronto's undersized front court rotation, Turner would bring a fix to exactly that, while keeping the hungry, fast and aggressive back-end style of play Toronto loves.
Turner would fit among the empty spaces of their team and accentuate the positives: more shots for VanVleet, more lanes for Barnes and more space for Pascal Siakam to spin around. Nobody on the team would really have to change anything other than getting more opportunities thanks to Turner’s rim protection.
Turner stands 6-foot-11 and has shot 36.1 percent from 3-point range since the start of the 2017-18 season. He averaged 2.3 blocks per game in his career, leading the league twice in the past three seasons. He leads the league this season at 2.8 per game. He is an effective presence on the floor and would bring a veteran's mentality.