The Indiana Pacers made their intentions to go into a complete rebuild public, reportedly fielding offer calls for stars Caris Levert, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis.
BasketballNews.com shared a comprehensive take on potential landing spots for Levert, with a long list of teams that will greatly benefit from the scoring punch the young star can provide, such as the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz. A few young and upcoming teams are listed as teams that would get a major boost from acquiring Levert.
While Levert is an interesting prospect, he is still working his way back into form after a series of injuries that had him in and out of lineups over the past few years. This version of Caris Levert does not automatically change your fortunes as a franchise, but there is one player on the Pacers who does, and that is All-Star Domantas Sabonis. However, Sabonis' frontcourt partner Myles Turner, is also an interesting prospect that can take a team from pretender to contender. Here are three teams that can solidify their championship hopes by acquiring Turner.
New York Knicks
Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau loves defensive-minded players, and Turner definitely fits the bill with his athleticism and shot-blocking ability being some of the best in the league. However, the Knicks suffer on offense as well, lacking scoring options outside of Derrick Rose and Julius Randle. Turner will not put a ton of points on the board, but he is a unique type of big man who can protect the paint, switch pick and rolls, and knockdown threes. The potential spacing he could provide the Knicks might give Rose and Randle an easier time to create opportunities on the offensive end.
Indiana will look for young talent in return, and New York has many interesting young prospects. The Knicks could send two of their young pieces to the Pacers for Turner, such as Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. It would be important for the Knicks not to overpay for Turner in case Damian Lillard suddenly wants out of Portland. The Knicks will need RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson to even come close to selling Portland on a rebuild in exchange for Dame. Lillard, Burks, Fournier, Randle, and Turner would be a championship-level closing five.
The Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are at .500 at the moment, even with Kristaps Porzingis seemingly starting to find his stride as the second offensive option of the team. Luka Doncic has missed a few games, which is likely why the Mavericks have been struggling, but when you watch them play, something just doesn't feel right. As currently constructed, the ceiling of this lineup is already within reach, and perhaps it's time to take a different approach to build a team around Luka.
A season ago, Dallas had a historically efficient offense but also ranked in the bottom half of playoff teams on the defensive end. In the games they beat the Clippers, the whole team got hot, and the Clippers were cold despite consistently getting great looks at the rim. When Kawhi and crew caught fire, there was no way the Mavericks had a chance of slowing them down with the personnel they had on the floor. Sell (relatively) high on Porzingis and get Turner, then start to build a team of athletic shooters that can get going alongside Luka Doncic. Doncic is an offense on his own, similar to LeBron James, so this may be the path to success for the Mavericks.
The Los Angeles Lakers
If there is one team that needs to improve on the defensive end, it's the Los Angeles Lakers. Once a defensive juggernaut under Frank Vogel, the Lakers have slipped down the defensive ranks and are now one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Lakers also give up about fifty points in the paint each game, a number that is surprising for a team that boasts the likes of Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, and Anthony Davis. It seems that age and health are prohibiting the Lakers from reaching their full defensive potential, and Turner might just be what the doctor ordered.
If there is one big man that allows AD to play the four, it's Turner. With his ability to space the floor and agility on defense, he can help take some of the physical toll away from Davis on both ends of the floor. The world knows the Lakers need some youth, so Rob Pelinka needs to seriously take a look at acquiring Turner. In return, the Lakers can send Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn to the Pacers, giving Indiana two dynamic guards to build their franchise around.
Which of the three fringe contenders would you want to see Myles Turner end up with? Whoever does will automatically become a team to fear this year and for seasons to come.