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Myles Turner: 2 best trade destinations for Pacers center if Deandre Ayton winds up in Indiana

Myles Turner, Deandre Ayton, Pacers, Myles Turner Trade, Deandre Ayton Offer Sheet

With Deandre Ayton likely on his way to Indiana, current Pacers center Myles Turner may soon need a new home. It’s recently been reported that Ayton intends to sign an offer sheet from the Pacers for 4 years and $133 million. The offer sheet is the largest in league history; and with Ayton being a restricted free agent, the Suns have two days to either match the offer or let him go with nothing in return.

Such a deal also puts Turner in a precarious position. Should the Ayton deal go through, Turner’s future with the team will be uncertain and they may seek to trade him. Luckily for him, there are more than a few teams that could use his services. It also presents an opportunity for Phoenix to acquire assets they wouldn’t get from Ayton’s departure.

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Best Trade Destinations For Myles Turner

Chicago Bulls

Despite the recent signing of Andre Drummond, the Bulls are still in need of a starting center. Although he was serviceable in the 2021 season, Nikola Vucevic struggled against the elite bigs in the league. There was speculation that the Bulls would attempt to make a deal for Rudy Gobert, but he was eventually shipped to Minnesota to join Karl-Anthony Towns. Turner could be the next best thing in the event that he’s up for grabs.

Myles Turner’s last two seasons have been severely hindered by injuries, but there’s still a lot to be excited about. Through 47 games in the 2020 season, he averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 boards, and an eye-popping 3.4 blocks per game. Turner played just 42 games in 2021, managing 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in just 29.4 minutes per game. With numbers like that, it’s hard not to speculate how much better he could be with consistent play. Unlike Vucevic, he’s also a regular Defensive Player of the Year candidate when he can put together a full season.

Phoenix Suns

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the Suns work out a sign and trade with Indiana that sends Turner to Phoenix. The Suns don’t view Ayton as a max player, so it’s highly unlikely he’ll be on the team at the start of the 2022 season. Because the 2018 no. 1 overall pick is still a restricted free agent, Phoenix will surely want something in return. With Ayton’s intention to sign Indiana’s offer sheet, taking the sign-and-trade route makes sense. In doing so, the Suns may actually end up a better team than last season.

In four seasons with the Suns, Ayton has career averages of 16.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1 block per game. The numbers are solid, but they haven’t really gotten any better throughout his career. At 23 years old, Ayton already looks to have plateaued. Turner, on the other hand, has shown improvement. His 3-point percentage jumped from 21.4% in his rookie season to 34.8%. In fact, he shot 33.3% from deep in 2021 with 4.4 attempts a game, showing clear growth in his game. He averaged 1.4 blocks per game his rookie season, while his most recent season was double that. Again, it has to be remembered that this growth is happening despite all the injuries. A healthy Myles Turner, due about $18 million in 2022, would be a steal compared to a player who’s not getting worse but also not getting better.

Because the Suns and Ayton are at odds when it comes to Ayton’s value, it would be unexpected to see the team match Indiana’s offer to keep him. It should, however, be enticed by the possibility of bringing in Turner. After Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell, he will surely drum up significant interest around the league.