The Golden State Warriors are already one of the biggest threats to win the NBA title in 2022, but every contender should be looking for ways to improve their roster ahead of February’s trade deadline. They just have to wait for the right time to strike.
Enter the Indiana Pacers.
After a 10-16 start to the season, the Pacers are reportedly considering shipping their star players away to rival teams to kick off their unavoidable rebuild, and the Warriors need to be the first to get them on the phone.
The Indiana Pacers are opening up a yard sale after 10-16 start
The Pacers haven’t been past the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs since 2014. After four mediocre seasons under Nate McMillan, Indiana took a step back last year under Nate Bjorkgren and missed out on the postseason.
Replacing Bjorkgren with Rick Carlisle this season was supposed to get the Pacers back on track, but that’s not exactly how it’s panned out a quarter of the way through the season. Through 26 games, Indiana is 10-16 and on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the East.
The front office is evidently starting to lose faith in the team’s current core of players, so there might be a yard sale starting up in the next few weeks. According to a recent report from Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, the Pacers are warming up to the idea of trading their best players as they move toward a “substantial rebuild.”
“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.
That should be music to Bob Myers’ ears.
The Warriors need to be first in line to bid on Myles Turner
It’s hard to find a single weakness on this resurgent Warriors roster right now. After all, they’re tied for the best record in the NBA at 20-4, they have the best defensive rating in the league (100.4), and Stephen Curry looks like the MVP favorite a quarter of the way through the season.
But if there was one weak spot on the team, it would be the center position.
Kevon Looney is a serviceable starting center for the Warriors, but he’s never been able to space the floor on offense to give them another shooting option on the outside, and he’s a below-average rim protector on the defensive end.
Turner would transform this starting lineup from elite to downright unstoppable, and Golden State might be able to get him at a discount right now.
Turner would confirm the Warriors as the NBA title favorites
If the Warriors are serious about competing for a title this season (and they should be), upgrading the center position should be their No. 1 priority. Imagine how dangerous this team could be with a big man who could stretch the floor and hit threes, swallow up offensive rebounds, and shut down the paint at the other end.
Sound like anyone in particular?
Turner is having arguably his best season as a pro. The 25-year-old is shooting a career-best 52.6% from the field and 39.5% from three, and he’s leading the league in blocked shots per game with 2.8. He wouldn’t just give Golden State yet another shooting option on the offensive end, but he would also take the NBA’s best defense to a completely different level.
The Warriors haven’t had a center this good on both ends of the floor even dating back to their championship teams from few years ago. They should do everything in their power to add Turner before February’s deadline.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.