Aug 4, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33), dribbling against the Orlando Magic, is one of the best trade targets for the San Antonio Spurs this offseason. (Landis/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Rumblings suggest that Pacers center Myles Turner, the apple of San Antonio Spurs fans’ eye for quite some time, might hit the trade market this offseason.
Word has it that the trade market is going to be robust in the 2020 NBA offseason and quite frankly, it’s imperative for the San Antonio Spurs to get involved. One way to do so is by targeting a position of need by trading for Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, who’s rumored to be on the block this offseason.
In late-September after the Pacers were been eliminated from the postseason, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss broke the news that Victor Oladipo could be on the move. An underrated aspect of his report was that Turner could be in the same boat and for good reason. It’s clear that All-Star Domantas Sabonis is the top-dog in the Pacers’ frontcourt and the fit with Turner is awkward at best.
Offensively, Turner’s been relegated to a spot-up 3-point shooter who defends the paint from the four or five. On defense, his role is largely undefined as he’s oftentimes forced to roam on the perimeter instead of standing alert near the rim, which is how he’s best utilized. With a new head coach coming into town and questions throughout the roster, Turner is one of the dominoes that could easily fall for the Pacers this offseason.
Here are a few trades that would bring the prized center to San Antonio.
Next: Three-team blockbuster
Mar 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: In a hypothetical three-team trade, the San Antonio Spurs ship DeRozan to Boston and get Turner, Lamb back. The Pacers get Hayward and a draft pick. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
The San Antonio Spurs pull off a blockbuster three-team deal.
Moving DeMar DeRozan to Indiana doesn’t make a lot of sense, which is why getting a third team involved in this equation might be their key to getting it done. In this scenario, the Pacers bring in a hometown favorite who made a name for himself playing at Butler University in Indianapolis — forward Gordon Hayward.
There’s legitimate upside for all three teams in this deal. For San Antonio, they replace DeRozan with another wing who can come off the bench and fill a role on a manageable contract. Beyond that, Turner is a modern center who can help their defensive woes and score off of screens with ease.
On the flip side, DeRozan is a win-now player who can contribute to a Boston Celtics team on the verge of a title appearance. He fits with the team’s high-octane offense and would use his secondary playmaking to propel the group into the future. Plus, his contract is cheaper than Hayward’s, helping Boston deal with its massive cap sheet.
For Indiana, it gives a bit of a fresh perspective. They gain two expiring contracts to provide additional flexibility in a loaded 2021 free-agent class. Beyond that, they can bring in a young player in a deep draft using the No. 26 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Of course, it’s beneficial for the San Antonio Spurs, but to me, it’s a win for every team involved.
Next: Swapping pieces
Jan 24, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) in the first half at AT&T Center. (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)
Two-for-one gives Pacers depth, Turner for San Antonio Spurs.
Sign-and-trades are back and better than ever like a Hess Truck at Christmas-time. It was a sweeping sensation years ago that was extremely prevalent in the 2019 offseason and now, the San Antonio Spurs could be the next team to take advantage of it.
Though Jakob Poeltl has been fantastic for the Spurs in limited minutes, it’s clear to see that his upside is severely capped. At a time like this when the team needs to take strides toward finding near leaders, moving him may be the way to go. By sending Poeltl and Lyles to Indiana, the Spurs are sacrificing a bit of their depth for a better option at the starting center position who won’t get played off the floor as Poeltl did in Orlando.
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Lyles, who’s entering a non-guaranteed year on his contract, filled his role nicely and would be welcomed back for another year. However, he’s a solid trade chip at this point considering his improved numbers and increased productivity over the course of the season. In the final stretch of his season, which was cut short by a faulty appendix, Lyles shot lights-out from 3-point land while asserting himself on the glass and playing more minutes than ever before.
These two players should help Indiana put its focus on Sabonis while adding two-way help in a frontcourt rotation that’s decently thin.
For San Antonio, it upgrades at a position of need while fitting the timeline of this young core well. Beyond that, it establishes the type of team that it aspires to be once the veterans are either traded, have signed elsewhere, or are retired.
Having valuable, defensive-minded players like Murray, Turner and Keldon Johnson inked lines up a bright future that fits with the core values of the San Antonio Spurs.