Less than a decade ago, the Indiana Pacers were feared opponents in the Eastern Conference and fringe title contenders behind Paul George. But in 2021, the same franchise is starting to fade off into irrelevancy.
Things have gotten so bad in Indiana that the front office is reportedly contemplating trading away the team’s core to kickstart a rebuild. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Myles Turner just came out and bashed the organization for how’s he’s been treated over the past few years.
Yeah, Turner might not be wearing a Pacers uniform for much longer.
The Pacers are contemplating a fire sale
Indiana missed the playoffs last season for the first time in five years, and it hasn’t shown many signs of improvement this season. Through 27 games, the Pacers sit at 13th in the Eastern Conference standings at 11-16.
Earlier this week, Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic reported that the Pacers are considering a “massive rebuild,” and almost every player on the roster has been placed on the trading block.
“Multiple sources said that the Pacers are receptive in trade dialogue with rival teams centered on potentially moving guard Caris LeVert and either two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis or center Myles Turner,” the report states.
This Pacers team could look a lot different in a few months, and after Turner’s recent comments, he might be the first to go.
Myles Turner bashes the Pacers
Over the last few seasons, Turner has established himself as one of the best rim protectors in the NBA. He’s led the NBA in blocks per game in two of the last three years, and his 2.8 BPM this season is tops in the league.
But Turner has grown frustrated with his role on the offensive end of the floor with the Pacers. This week, he decided to air out his feelings.
“It’s clear that I’m not valued as anything more than a glorified role player here, and I want something more, more opportunity,” Turner told The Athletic Tuesday. “I’m trying really hard to make the role that I’m given here work and find a way to maximize it. I’ve been trying to the past two, three seasons. But it’s clear to me that, just numbers-wise, I’m not valued as more than a rotational role player, and I hold myself in a higher regard than that.
“I’ve been given many roles in the years that I’ve been here, and I feel like I’ve been able to produce at a high level in the roles I’ve been given. I’ve shown that I can do the things they ask me to do, and I think it’s time to put that all together and be a more prominent night-in, night-out guy on the offensive side of the ball instead of someone who is asked to be a floor spacer and hide in the shadows.”
Turner’s time in Indiana is clearly fleeting.
Possible trade destinations for Turner
Turner is likely to be the first name dealt by the Pacers before February’s trade deadline, as he and the team are simply not on the same page. So, where are some places he should hope to end up?
The Golden State Warriors might be the most interesting trade destination for Turner. Stephen Curry and company could use an impact center who could protect the rim and space the floor on the offensive end, and Turner can do just that.
Other than Golden State, the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, and Boston Celtics should all be in the market for a center over the next few months. Turner could become much more than a glorified role player on any of these teams, and hopefully, he gets his wish soon.