After starting off the year bitten by the injury bug, the Indiana Pacers have been on a roll lately, as they have won five of the their last six games and are quietly looking like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
It’s looking like the Pacers have finally killed that injury bug, as two of their key guards who have been bitten the hardest in Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner have been assigned to play with the Fort Wayne Ants to get back into the swing of things before returning to Indiana.
As good as this Indiana team has looked lately, it is far from a perfect squad. While newly-acquired guard Malcolm Brogdon has been helping the offense flow smoothly, the lane always seems to be clogged, as big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner haven’t quite figured out how to work together.
Indiana signed Sabonis to a contract extension earlier this offseason, and he has been proving that he is worth the money. The 2016 draft pick has been averaging 18.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game, proving that he can be a foundational piece that the Pacers can build around.
Meanwhile, Turner has been struggling by his standards, as even though he hasn’t been completely healthy all season, he’s averaging 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Before Turner starts to regress, it may be smart for the Pacers to get rid of him while his value is the highest as a versatile big man who can stretch out opposing defenses while being a defensive anchor point on the other side of the court.
Making a deal with Bean Town may be appealing to the Pacers. The Celtics desperately need the big man if they want to contend in the East, as they clearly don’t trust their current group of big men of Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Robert Williams.
Turner would instantly improve the Celtics front court while giving them another long athletic defender who can try to contain Eastern Conference giants such as Joel Embiid, The Greek Freak and Pascal Siakam.
If the Pacers can manage to be good negotiators, they could get the Celtics to throw them Memphis’ first round pick, which is looking to be a top-10 pick based on the Grizzlies’ current trajectory.
Sometimes you have to take a step backward to take a step forward, so while getting rid of Turner would obviously hurt the Pacers this season, acquiring a top-10 talent like Cole Anthony, Opi Topple, or Isaiah Stewart could elevate the Pacers from the Eastern Conference’s middle class, giving them a bevy of talent and a deep roster to help them compete for a title next season.