Raptors rumors: Is Toronto in on Pacers big Myles Turner?

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 26: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 26: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

While Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors are doing everything they can to stay in the postseason, the Indiana Pacers are pivoting to a swift rebuild after Rick Carlisle has struggled to get this team back on track. Their desire to blow it up could lead to either Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis getting traded.

Of the two, Turner looks like the more likely trade candidate. On top of the fact that the team acquiring him won’t have to give up an arm and a leg to acquire someone who isn’t as offensively gifted as Sabonis, he could provide real value to a contender as a shot-blocker.

The Raptors make sense as a trade destination, as they are looking for a rim protector and defensive rebounder that can provide some consistency in the paint ahead of the playoff charge. The thinking around the NBA is that Masai Ujiri will make a run at acquiring Turner.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer (who nailed Toronto’s interest in Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs), several league personnel mentioned the Raptors as a team to watch in the Turner sweepstakes. Indiana’s asking price is said to include multiple first-round picks.

Toronto Raptors rumors: Will Masai Ujiri bring Myles Turner to Canada?

Toronto is not the only team interested in Turner, as Fischer mentioned names like the Knicks, Mavericks, and Hornets on a long list of potential buyers.

Turner is averaging 13.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. If his current pace holds, Turner will lead the league in blocked shots for the third time in four years. In need of a true rim protector, Toronto could start an ultra-versatile defensive lineup that features Turner, Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby if they pull this off.

Turner, a free agent after next season, is making $17.5 million this season. Outside of including Goran Dragic in a trade, which won’t appeal to Indiana, Chris Boucher could be on the move. Fischer mentioned that Boucher is available for trade. Throw in one more bench piece and two first-rounders and the Pacers may have themselves a deal.


While Toronto might justifiably be a bit hesitant about giving up some first-round picks when they spent the entire season preaching the virtues of patience and hitting on these future draft picks, Turner could help them flip that script. Very rarely is a player his age with his skillset and pedigree available.

Assuming that Indiana doesn’t start asking for any of Toronto’s starters in addition to a first-round pick, Ujiri and Bobby Webster need to consider getting this deal finalized.

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