Con 2. The Spurs Would Have to Trade Away Young Assets
The biggest question surrounding the Turner situation is how much Indiana is seeking in return for him. Assuming that they are looking to rebuild, they're unlikely to want long-term contracts, thus likely eliminating Derrick White from being included in a trade for Turner.
After all, White is at least two years older than Turner and has three more seasons under contract, both of which make him a poor fit for Indiana. On the other hand, Lonnie Walker is significantly younger and will be entering restricted free agency, allowing the Pacers the chance to negotiate his next contract.
However, his underwhelming play this season isn’t likely to pique their interest either unless they believe in his talent. That would probably mean that the Pacers would want players like Keldon Johnson, Joshua Primo, or Devin Vassell in a trade, as well as draft picks.
Relax Spurs fans, I don’t see San Antonio trading any of those three players but could definitely see them moving White or Walker if the right trade presents itself. That creates something of a stalemate with the Spurs being unwilling to move their best young players and Indiana unwilling to take back the players that the Spurs would be willing to trade.
San Antonio could still make a competitive offer, however, by including the Bulls' 2025 first-round pick, Detroit's 2022 second (which could be in the early thirties), and the Lakers' 2022 second (which could be in the mid-forties). Alternatively, the Spurs could swap out the Bulls pick and, instead, throw in their 2022 first.
A top 8 protection in each of the next two drafts (which would convert to two 2nd round picks if doesn't convey), would give Indy a decent chance of receiving a lottery pick. It would also keep the Spurs from overpaying for Turner and regretting it if it doesn't work out this season and next season.
Throw in Thaddeus Young’s expiring contract and possibly even Bryn Forbes (though that might be wishful thinking) and the Spurs could match salaries. By including only expiring contracts, it would also allow for Indiana to save $18 million next season, thus making it at least a decent offer.
Would Indiana say yes to an offer of Young, Forbes/ Walker, a protected first, and two solid second-round picks? It's possible, but another question is whether the Spurs would be interested in Turner when Poeltl has played like a top 10 center this season. That’s unclear, especially with the Spurs' tendency to avoid trades midseason.
Instead, they may be perfectly content sticking with the current roster, at least through the rest of the season. Ultimately, we’ll have to keep an eye on reports to see whether the Spurs actually become linked to Turner. Regardless, I recommend Spurs fans remain skeptical until reports prove otherwise.