The Indiana Pacers are finally embracing a rebuild. After years
of toiling around in mediocrity, the Pacers realized their slow
start and league-low attendance weren't going to turn around
anytime soon. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Bob
Kravitz, Indiana is open to trading the following players before
February’s deadline: Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Myles
We already covered five potential destinations for
LeVert, who quickly became expendable with Chris Duarte
emerging as a long-term building block. Nekias Duncan has some
trade ideas cooking on Sabonis
as well. So now, to round things out, it’s time to reveal the best
win-win deals involving Turner.
Unlike Sabonis, who some teams may need to reinvent their entire
system around, Turner is the ideal complementary piece for any
contender looking to take a leap forward — this season and beyond.
As a modern center who can stretch the floor and block shots at an
elite level, many teams will be calling Indiana to inquire about a
So, which teams actually make sense for Turner? Let’s reveal our
six best destinations:
I already mentioned Turner to the Hornets as a perfect fit for
both player and team last week when discussing five potentially playoff-altering
trades before the deadline. Charlotte is so close to taking a
massive step forward in the Eastern Conference. All the Hornets
need is an adequate rim-protector to help them from leaking too
many points to opponents on a nightly basis. Acquiring Turner not
only solves that issue, it also raises the ceiling for young
superstar point guard LaMelo Ball as well.
Imagining Turner catching lobs from LaMelo and spacing the floor
is so much fun, in addition to what he would provide defensively.
Charlotte’s potential core of Ball, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier,
Gordon Hayward and Turner would be a well-put-together starting
lineup. The Hornets could still have James Bouknight and Kai Jones
developing off their bench as long-term lottery tickets too.
With Turner expected to fetch a nice return for Indiana, what
actually makes sense in terms of an offer? There are two different
scenarios to parse through:
Option 1: Kelly Oubre Jr., PJ Washington and a protected
future first-round pick
Option 2: Gordon Hayward and a protected future first-round
The only reason why Hayward is included here is because we
already know Indiana was seriously pursuing the former Indianapolis
native during the 2020 offseason. When the Pacers offered Turner
for Hayward in the past, former Boston Celtics general manager
Danny Ainge didn't budge. Hayward instead bolted to Charlotte,
receiving a big bag of cash in the process.
Would Indiana be open to revisiting a similar package 18 months
Pacers owner Herb Simon has been reluctant to dip his toes into
any luxury-tax payments, so we know that’s not happening as
sellers. So, how about this Hayward-centric return to try out a
“soft rebuild” or retool?
Pacers receive: Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, JT Thor,
protected first-round pick
Hornets receive: Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, Justin
Hayward would slide in as the 4 next to TJ Warren on the wing,
forming an interesting duo. Washington’s role in Charlotte isn’t
growing anytime soon, so giving the former lottery pick a bigger
opportunity in Indiana makes sense as well. And from a pure fan
perspective of putting butts in the seats, Brownsburg, Indiana
native and former Butler Bulldog Gordon Hayward absolutely does
From Charlotte’s perspective, it’s a massive win. Acquiring
Turner raises the team's immediate and long-term ceiling, with Lamb
and Holiday bolstering that bench.
I doubt Indiana would be interested in Oubre, so let’s roll with
the options revolving around Hayward. What do you think of this big
move for both sides?
As I mentioned yesterday with LeVert, keep an eye on New Orleans
as the most desperate team in the NBA. Pelicans executive vice
president David Griffin knows the hourglass could soon be running
out on his tenure, plus Zion Williamson’s injury history continues
to pile on.
How about acquiring Turner as an ideal buffer between Brandon
Ingram and Zion? It makes a lot of sense to help out a team that's
in desperate need of a consistent defensive identity.
Turner is an absolutely perfect third piece to the puzzle in New
Orleans, and hopefully a healthy and dominant version of Williamson
reappears as well.
However, for a valuable piece like Turner, what would the
Pelicans need to send back the Pacers’ way? Hint: it’s going to be
Here’s what I cooked up for a potential Pacers-Pelicans
blockbuster revolving around Turner:
Pacers receive: Josh Hart, Kira Lewis Jr., Jaxson Hayes, two
future first-round picks (via Lakers and Bucks)
Pelicans receive: Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, Brad
Indiana acquires two young assets in Lewis and Hayes, plus
another player yet to hit his prime with Hart. The two first-round
picks from the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks are the icing
on top of the cake from the Pelicans.
Yes, the Pelicans have Jonas Valanciunas and he’s playing at an
awesome level right now, but you have to begin thinking about
accelerating the rebuild. New Orleans could play Turner and
Valanciunas together at some points if necessary, but they could
reroute the 29-year-old Valanciunas with his value at an all-time
With all three players age-25 or under, a trio of Williamson,
Ingram and Turner is something to invest real assets into before
it’s too late.
Could you imagine Turner in the same role Kevon Looney is
filling right now for Golden State? The Warriors’ defense would be
incredible, and completely unfair. Turner and Draymond Green would
make up a terrifying frontcourt duo, plus the former’s
floor-spacing is an ideal fit in Golden State’s offense.
From Indiana’s point of view, though, what makes sense in return
for Turner? If I’m in Pacers president Kevin Pritchard’s shoes, I’m
holding out for Jonathan Kuminga in any Turner deal with Golden
State. If push comes to shove with the Warriors refusing to include
Kuminga, the following may make sense for both sides:
Pacers receive: James Wiseman, Moses Moody, Damion Lee,
future protected first-round pick
Warriors receive: Myles Turner, Kelan Martin
Indiana would acquire two young prospects in Wiseman and Moody
to add alongside Duarte and fellow first-round pick Isaiah Jackson.
Golden State would probably become the true NBA Finals favorite
bringing aboard Turner, plus a sharpshooting wing who can provide
spot minutes in Martin.
The Warriors have the assets to make a title push even more
likely. Don’t be surprised if they have already called Indiana
about Turner or Sabonis, because either one makes this team even
more of a juggernaut in the Western Conference.
This one is interesting, especially when you consider it would
be Pacers 2.0 all over again with an offense-first big alongside
Turner in Nikola Vucevic. However, Vucevic's contract expires after
this season. If the Bulls retooled a little bit and moved Vucevic
this summer, could you imagine the spacing and defensive
versatility a frontcourt duo of Turner and Patrick Williams would
provide? That sounds like a massive upgrade to me, allowing the
ball to be in the hands of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan even
Indiana would of course ask for Williams if the team were to
trade Turner within its own division, but that would be a swift,
"No." Instead, what about this compelling offer with a young
prospect, salary filler and multiple first-round picks going back
Pacers receive: Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr., 2022
first-round pick via Portland, 2026 heavily protected first-round
Bulls receive: Myles Turner
Assuming Turner coming aboard would put into motion a long-term
vision of him and Williams sharing a frontcourt (the more I talk
about it, the more I love this idea), Chicago could offload Vucevic
this offseason to recoup some sort of draft capital lost here.
LaVine and DeRozan being insulated defensively by the likes of
Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Turner and Williams is a dream scenario
for Chicago. This would make the Bulls a terrifying team in the
East for years to come.
Meanwhile, Indiana could be the ideal reset for a former lottery
pick in White, who wasn’t selected by the Bulls’ current front
Another Central Division team knocking down the door of Indiana?
Again, this one seems far-fetched, but the possibilities are
endless here. Imagining a modern big like Turner alongside Giannis
Antetokounmpo brings forth mouth-watering possibilities for the
However, with little draft capital, would Indiana even be
interested in a package revolving around Brook Lopez’s contract and
Donte DiVincenzo? Maybe with a future pick or two thrown in, it
could entice a conversation with Indiana.
Don’t forget, there’s already trade history between these two
divisional teams. When the Pacers pulled off a sign-and-trade for
Malcolm Brogdon, it was structured to be a win-win deal for both
Could history repeat itself with Turner joining the Bucks this
Plopping Turner within the Bucks’ core
is a game-changing move for them. Immediately, Milwaukee would
stake its claim as the top team in the East in 2021-22 and beyond.
Turner’s shooting and rim-protection would essentially give
Milwaukee a younger version of Lopez.
I would say this move is doubtful, but don’t be surprised if
Milwaukee calls about Turner to try to go all-in as they look to
Portland needs to do something soon. Damian Lillard is obviously
frustrated with the direction of the team, so what’s going to
happen with the Trail Blazers’ roster? As a team with little to no
defensive integrity, currently and historically, inserting Turner
would be a massive win for Portland.
Turner would become an immediate upgrade over Jusuf Nurkic, who
would be sent back to Indiana as salary filler in this scenario. On
top of Nurkic, the Blazers would attach promising combo guard
Although Portland loves what it has seen from Simons and Nassir
Little in terms of player development, these types of moves have to
occur in order to raise the ceiling and floor of the team's current
From Indiana’s perspective, this deal is very interesting. The
Pacers’ primary prize here would be Simons alongside a future
first-round pick. (Nurkic may even be flipped again or bought out
since a rebuilding team has no need for a veteran big on an
expiring contract). Seeing Simons in a bigger role would be very
intriguing, and that's exactly what would occur in Indy alongside
So, there we have it. Six teams who stand out as possible
landing spots and who should be banging down Indiana's door in
pursuit of a perfect modern big man.
This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg in terms of Turner’s
potential destinations though. Many other teams not listed will
certainly call about the 25-year-old. As a floor-spacer and
rim-protector who might not have hit his true ceiling yet, expect
over the half of the league to inquire about Turner in some