Friday, May 20 2022
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It’s been a month since it was reported the Indiana Pacers were open to trade calls on All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis, guard Caris LeVert and big man Myles Turner. Indiana reportedly plans on focusing on its young players in Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson, leaving the veterans as prime trade targets ahead of the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline. 

Sabonis will surely have a wide range of teams interested in his talents as the two-time All-Star could help every contender in the league. The same goes for Turner, who appears to have a robust trade market already. The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets have all expressed interest in Turner, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, as they begin to ramp up conversations with the Pacers.

Turner is among the league’s best rim protectors, as he currently ranks first in the NBA in blocks per game (2.9), while averaging 13.1 points and 7.3 rebounds. So it’s clear to see why opposing teams are eager to trade for him, as he wouldn’t be difficult to fit on nearly every team in the league that needs a center. 

It remains to be seen exactly what the Pacers would want in return for Turner, but given they’re focusing on rebuilding around younger players, one can assume they would want players of the same age and timeline as Duarte and Jackson to build a young core for the future. The Lakers don’t exactly have young players to deal in a trade, and in terms of draft capital, they don’t own a first-round pick until 2026. 

The Knicks have several young players they could include in a package for Turner, with Kevin Knox potentially being the top target as his role in the rotation has consistently decreased since being drafted ninth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Obi Toppin could be the more enticing player, but it’s unclear if the Knicks would be willing to part ways with the athletic forward who has shown flashes this season. 

As for the Mavericks, a need for a rim-protecting center has been a necessity in Dallas for several seasons. But pairing Turner with Kristaps Porzingis would create the same imperfect fit that Turner experienced in Indiana with Sabonis. For the Hornets, upgrading from Mason Plumlee to Turner would be a huge get for a team that currently ranks 28th in defensive rating. 

There’s likely other teams around the league that would be interested in dealing for Turner. We’ll just have to wait and see if Indiana ends up trading the big man, and for what. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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