The NBA trade deadline is February 10th. Trade talks are intensifying. Fans all over the world are stalking their favorite NBA news breakers’ every tweet, hoping their team trades for the biggest name available on the market. One name that’s on the radar of multiple championship contenders is Myles Turner. Turner is the 25-year-old center who plays for the Indiana Pacers.
He is one of the most feared shot-blockers in the NBA. He led the league in blocks per game last season with a career-high 3.4. This season he is on pace to do it again, averaging a league-best 2.8 blocks. If Turner finished with the most blocks per game this season, it would be the third time he’s achieved this feat.
Since the summer multiple teams have reportedly shown interest in trading for the big man. Once the Pacers let it be known they were open to trading him, and others, the rumors started to spread like wildfire.
In an exclusive interview with ClutchPoints, Turner talked about being involved in trade rumors and people trying to recruit him.
“I haven’t been contacted by any players directly,” Turner told ClutchPoints. “It’s more so reps of players or managers and stuff like that. Small talk here and there, but I really don’t entertain most of that stuff. That’s what I got my people for.”
Trade season in the NBA can be a very stressful time. It’s not a video game or a fantasy league. You can’t trade someone and they’re available to play tomorrow. Professional athletes aren’t avatars, even though their size and abilities make them seem unreal.
“I would say the first time I’ve dealt with trade rumors was probably like four years ago,” Turner continued. “I didn’t know what to think of it. As the summers progressed, I kept hearing more things, and that stuff was almost getting done. I kind of got used to hearing it all the time. I just took it as part of the business.”
These are men who started families, gained friends, and fell in love with the cities they’ve been assigned to. Players can wake up one morning and find out they have been shipped away.
“At any time, I can be up and moving,” the 6″ 11 center said. “I spent my entire career here. So, if I were to get moved, it would always be love between me and the city. If not, I’ll be right here.”
Turner was drafted by the Pacers in 2015. He was the 11th pick in the draft. Memories and career-defining moments have transpired since. The huge block against LeBron James, during Turner’s rookie season, was the first of many great moments created with the franchise. If traded, those memories would be something he cherishes immensely.
“Of course, you put a little thought into what it would be like leaving especially with it circulating so much,” Turner said. “But once I’m in between the lines, all those thoughts go out the window. I’m just out there to hoop.”
Thursday night, Indiana beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime 121-117. Although Turner was not playing, he was cheering his teammates on and engaged the entire night. The Pacers are 17-29 and Turner could be on the move soon, but he still wants to see his team win.
“That’s the fun part about playing basketball,” Turner shared with ClutchPoints. “You can have problems going on, even outside of trade stuff. I mean real-life problems. Once you step in between those four lines, you forget about all that.”
The Pacers are willing to trade Turner, but there is one issue when it comes to moving the big man. He is currently sidelined with a stress reaction in his left foot. Turner is scheduled to be re-evaluated in two weeks. This injury hurts the possibility of a team making a deal happen before Feb. 10, but Turner is in good spirits about it all.
“I was disappointed when it first happened,” Turner said about his injury. “It’s one of those things where I didn’t know what to think of it in a sense. But, I’ve got nothing but good news about it.”
This season Turner has put together another impressive campaign. The center is averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, an NBA best 2.8 blocks and nearly one steal per game.
Turner has been fighting for recognition his entire career and chasing an accolade that has avoided him: Defensive Player of the Year award.
“Of course. It’s something I want this year, and something I want every year,” Turner told ClutchPoints. “I’m not sure how much the injury is going to affect that, but all I can do is control what I can control. Keep being myself and keep being the best shot-blocker in the world, and everything else I do on the court.”