The Indiana Pacers aren't a good team yet, but they're steadily approaching goodness. Led by star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, the Pacers were the feel-good story of the first half of last year's NBA season, hanging around the playoff picture until a late season mini-tank to secure a lottery pick. If their busy draft night were any indication, the Pacers could be one of the most interesting teams this the offseason with over $30 million in cap space. The summer is their oyster. They can extort draft picks from a team trying to dump a bad contract or sign a big-name free agent or, most prudently, sell off some of their vets to build the roster in Haliburton's image. As such, here's why the Pacers should trade Myles Turner to the Atlanta Hawks for a package headlined by Clint Capela.

Pacers get: Clint Capela, Jalen Johnson, Sacramento Kings' 2024 first round pick (top 14 protected in 2024, top 12 in 2025, top 10 in 2026)

Hawks get: Myles Turner

By doing this trade, the Pacers would strike a delicate balance, downgrading their team yet also creating a more hospitable developmental environment for Haliburton and the rest of their young core. Capela might be a worse player than Myles Turner overall, but his skillset is better aligned with the offense that Haliburton and the Pacers are trying to build. Turner is among the NBA's best shooting centers and offers floor-spacing, but he often felt redundant on a team that's already chock full of shooting; the Pacers offense hardly needs another guy who can stand still in a corner with his hands out.

In this sense, the more limited Clint Capela would paradoxically give the Pacers' offense more options. Having spent the entirety of his career alongside elite point guards like James Harden, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Trae Young, Capela has internalized the nuances and subtleties of the pick and roll in a way that Turner has never learned. When Capela sets a screen, he destabilizes defenses in important, unnoticed ways. He varies the weight of his screen—depending on the context, he's as comfortable brushing the defender and slipping to the basket as he is wiping out the opposing guard with a crushing pick. Similarly, he expertly disguises his intentions as he approaches the ball-handler, refusing to betray the direction of the play until he slams into a defender's blindside.

These are minor microskills, but they're crucial, doubly so when paired with a guard like Haliburton who struggles to create his own advantages. To this point, the one flaw in Haliburton's offensive game has been his difficultly creating separation off the dribble. Since Haliburton isn't an especially noteworthy athlete and his handle can get a little robotic, he doesn't have a reliable way to puncture the outer shell of the defense and get into the paint. And that's mostly been fine—Haliburton is such a passing genius that he can wrong-foot defenders and create advantages with a quick dart of the eyes and a well-timed jump pass.

Still, with Capela riding shot gun, Haliburton will be able to put defenses in compromising positions even more frequently since Capela can provide the rim pressure that Haliburton sometimes cannot; defenses have no choice but to collapse on Capela as he gallops towards the rim after a pick and roll, in turn opening up wider corridors for Haliburton to sling a pass to an open shooter on the perimeter.

Beyond Capela, the Pacers would also add interesting pieces for the future. Namely, Jalen Johnson grew into a real part of the Hawks' rotation last year, emerging from the Hawks' overcrowded bench to become an impactful hustle player and playmaker. The 19th pick of the 2021 NBA Draft out of Duke, Johnson muscled his way into increased playing time once Quin Snyder took over as the new head coach of the Hawks in February. After the All Star break, Johnson averaged 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 17.8 minutes per game while maintaining a 57.2 percent True Shooting mark, all of which were marked improvements from his pre-All Star break performance.

To be sure, Johnson is hardly a perfect fit for the Pacers—his skillset overlaps with that of Jarace Walker, who Indiana just added with the eighth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Still, this is a first-world problem—the vast majority of teams don't even have one guy who's as athletic and smart as Johnson and Walker, so it'd be hard to feel too bad for the Pacers for having two.

Rounding out the trade package, the Pacers would add a first round pick from Sacramento, which Atlanta originally acquired last summer in the Kevin Huerter trade. Althought next year's class is considered to be a historically weak one, the pick still gives Indiana options as they transition from their protracted rebuild and into legitimate play-in contention.