Myles Turner’s stock is plummeting. Once thought of as a guy who would blossom into a top 5 center, he’s failed to develop since his promising second season and is posting his worst stat line since his rookie year.
Turner 2019-2020: 12.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 45% FG, 34.2% 3P.
This is a problem for the Pacers, but not necessarily on the court. They have plenty of depth and a stud center in Domantas Sabonis. But when I say Myles Turner is down, I’m not talking about his bank account. This past offseason, Indiana inked Turner to a four year, $72 million extension through 2023, and there’s no way they aren’t having a bit of buyer’s remorse, as he is beginning to receive fewer and fewer minutes as the season has waned.
The Hawks have made it evident they want to upgrade at the center position. They also are a team that is not afraid to take on some bad money for future assets. Could Turner be the ideal trade candidate to accomplish both goals? Atlanta might be able to acquire a starting-caliber center and something else for taking on his salary.
Turner’s problem might not be skill, but he’s fallen out of favor with Nate McMillan, mostly due to his rebounding. Still, a lot of it goes back to usage.
Myles Turner has played 311 games in his career.
He has 14 shots or more in 49 games (15% of his career). When he has 14 or more attempts, he averages:
20.7ppg, 9.5rpg, 52% from the field, 38% from 3 (3.0 attempts), .59TS% 76% FT, 2.6bpg, in 32mpg.
— Naptown Basketball (@NaptownBall) January 12, 2020
Over the last three games, Turner has only averaged about 22 minutes. He did lead the league in blocks last season and is regarded as a plus-defensive presence overall. Let’s make something clear; Turner is miles (no pun intended) ahead of any center on Atlanta’s roster. He’s locked up on a semi-reasonable contract for the next three years, and he fits the Hawks timeline.
It’s possible the Pacers could bite on some expiring contracts and a player like Bembry in a trade for Turner. With a thin 2020 free-agent market, Indiana’s requests could be varied. Regardless, the point remains the same. Turner is not a part of the Pacers’ future. He could, however, rejuvenate his career with Trae Young feeding him dimes and shooters to space the floor. Turner has a capable outside shot, and his interior presence defending the rim is exactly what the Hawks need. Even though his rebounding isn’t where Indiana would like it to be, he’d instantly become one of the best players in Atlanta. Turner is a gamble, but with the Hawks having so much cap space this upcoming offseason and not much to spend it on, this is something worth considering. I’m just not sure Travis Schlenk would be willing to jeopardize some of his financial flexibility.