The Toronto Raptors have a collection of interesting defensive pieces at their disposal, but they still lack that one rim protector and shot-blocker that can really take their lineup to the next level. If the Indiana Pacers are still selling, Myles Turner would almost make too much sense for this team.
Rick Carlisle and Indiana currently own the No. 5 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. With Domantas Sabonis now in Sacramento, the Pacers appear destined to rebuild around Tyrese Haliburton and cut some of the dead weight off of the roster. A Turner trade could help restock the cupboards.
Toronto has the much-improved Precious Achiuwa and Khem Birch at the center spot, but a disappointing season from Birch might make it tougher for the Raptors to run it back with the same roster and expect a huge uptick in interior defense. After wavering on acquiring him earlier in the season, the Turner pursuit should be reinvigorated.
The Raptors need to go after Turner without giving away any of their starters or Achiuwa. Luckily, since Masai Ujiri has nearly all of his allotted draft capital in his possession, he is equipped to change how the Raptors operate by adding a player with Turner’s level of two-way excellence.
Will the Toronto Raptors acquire Myles Turner?
Turner averaged 12.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game last season. Turner narrowly missed out on leading the NBA in blocks per game for the third time in four seasons. Turner had some injury problems last year, which could lower his value to a point where Toronto could pounce.
Turner is a better stretch big than Birch thanks to his 3-point shooting. While not the most versatile defender, bringing him into the fold will allow the Raptors to match up better against bigger lineups and elite centers. On offense, turner has proven he can contribute effectively to a winner without demanding tons of low-post touches.
A pick-and-roll lob threat like Turner would do wonders for Toronto’s offensive stylings.
The Raptors have a good chunk of money to match in a Turner deal, meaning that they might need to get a third team involved in the deal to pull it off. They will need to lose multiple picks to get this done, but Ujiri will need to pull the trigger to add one of the best available bigs on the market.
Turner is only going to lose value the longer he is in Indiana. The Raptors need to beat several other contenders to the punch if they want to remain out of the play-in picture. Aggressiveness will be the name of the game for Toronto this season, and getting Turner would be one hell of a way for the Raptors to announce how serious they are.