The Los Angeles Lakers are certainly not done tinkering with their roster. After the latest additions of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder, the Lakers appear to have a bit of a logjam at the guard positions, with Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn still in town. And with the clock ticking on the contending window led by the 37-year old LeBron James, the Lakers should look to make whatever moves are necessary to maximize LeBron’s elite play. Enter Myles Turner, a trade target the Lakers have been pursuing for months.
However, it appears the Lakers’ pursuit of Turner has hit a snag. Speaking with 1075 The Fan, Indiana Pacers GM Chad Buchanan declared that Turner will continue to don Pacers colors until at least opening night, when they take on the Washington Wizards on October 19.
“Myles Turner will be with the Pacers on opening night.”
– Pacers GM Chad Buchanan
(Via @1075thefan) pic.twitter.com/koRxBw5CrG
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) September 21, 2022
Earlier in the offseason, the Lakers reportedly offered the Pacers Russell Westbrook, an unprotected 2027 first-round pick, and two second-rounders for both Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield, but the Pacers held out for the Lakers’ 2029 first-rounder, which stalled trade talks.
With the Pacers in the midst of a teardown after the trade deadline deal that saw All-Star center Domantas Sabonis get shipped to the Sacramento Kings for a package headlined by Tyrese Haliburton, it should only be a matter of time before Turner gets dealt, whether to the Lakers or to another team.
For whichever team manages to snag Myles Turner, they will be rewarded with one of the more unique players in the NBA today. His addition, while far from a guarantee to elevate a team into serious title contenders, would have given the Lakers the best rim protecting duo in the league when paired with Anthony Davis. Turner, who averaged 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, has posted the second-most blocks in the NBA in the past five seasons with 726, 52 behind Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert (778) and 106 above third-place AD (620), per Statmuse.
On top of that, Turner would have been a positive for the Lakers’ spacing, as he would have surely seen his three-point percentage (1.2 makes on 3.4 attempts per game in the past five seasons – 35.1%) rise after feasting on the wide open looks LeBron James would have given him. Lakers fans, who were clamoring for Turner, would have been happy with such a vital addition.
Nevertheless, with training camp fast approaching, LeBron James and the Lakers will have to remain content for now with how their roster stands, and hope that they can better incorporate Russell Westbrook into a game plan that could maximize his skills.