It feels like Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner has been on the trade market for years. With the Pacers starting to slip down into the ranks of the lottery-dwellers, could the Toronto Raptors finally pounce on a deal after years of speculation?
Always an awkward fit next to Domantas Sabonis, trading a hot ticket like Tuner would allow Pacers to, make a definitive decision about the direction of their franchise. Will they take a big swing for another star, or move towards a rebuild? Shams Charania seems to think it’s the latter.
Charania claims that the Pacers are willing to dip fully into rebuild mode by listening to offers on Turner, an All-Star in Sabonis, and a promising young wing in Caris LeVert. Indiana is likely not going to be swayed unless tons of draft picks are exchanged.
As a team trying to retain their young assets, none of the Raptors’ most valuable young guys would be on the table for a potential trade. That’s why a third party would likely have to get involved. One that has been eyeing one of the Raptors’ veterans for months.
So why not make everyone happy? Why not give Toronto a young shot blocker, Indiana their package of young pieces, and the Dallas Mavericks their second favorite Slovenian guard in Goran Dragic? Try this trade on for size!
This Toronto Raptors trade brings Pacers star Myles Turner to Toronto.
Let’s begin with the Pacers. Moving Turner would allow Sabonis to become Rick Carlisle’s full-time center, allowing more motion offense to be run and picking up the tempo of Indiana’s offense. In return, they’d get their slew of picks, a positional placeholder in Powell, and a young guard that needs a fresh start in Flynn.
The most attractive element of this trade is the picks. They could probably move Turner to a playoff contender and get more in return, but they’d rather have the pick of a middling team like Toronto, than two from a strong one like the Warriors.
Flynn is running out of chances in Toronto, but he could end up getting a second chance in Indiana.
The Mavericks and Dragic have been wooing each other like a flirtatious couple. On top of that, Goran is doing next to nothing in Toronto. The team can send out cookie-cutter rhetoric about how much of a leader he’s been, but the fact of the matter is that he was purely cap filler to make the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade work.
The Mavericks would get another creator next to Luka and Brunson as well as another veteran to help the team on the biggest stages. They’d be giving up a solid big in Powell, and a slightly less solid big in Cauley-Stein. The Mavericks are trying to win big, so is Dragic. What are a couple of replaceable five-men against the chance of a Finals run?
What’s in it for the Toronto Raptors?
Toronto would be getting back the proper stretch five they’re missing. A team without a true defensive anchor in the middle finally getting a 7-footer with real 3-and-D ability would improve the roster.
For the Raptors, Turner would bring three really valuable things to the table in his ability to guard opposing giants like Joel Embiid 1-on-1, protect the rim, and space the floor. The Raptors don’t have much of any of those things going for them, which is what would make Turner more valuable to them than to Indiana.
The tough part for Nick Nurse would be mixing and matching OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and Turner in the frontcourt. Nurse could lean on any three of those together, and each has a serious case to be made for a spot in the starting lineup, but somebody has to go.
Either way, Turner would fit the Raptors’ identity of simultaneously rebuilding and competing. Having to give up future first-round picks could come back to bite the franchise, but it’s better to get a 25-year-old you know can play.
Losing Malachi would leave the team a little thin in the backcourt, but allowing Dalano Banton more time handling the ball could be good for the long run.