The San Antonio Spurs are currently in a tough spot as a franchise. Despite building around veterans like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, they are barely holding onto the final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings with over half the season left to play. Shaking things up and pursuing a player like Myles Turner makes sense.
Turner is a player that would be wise to target that would fit either a rebuild or a win-now move. He plays a key role as the defensive-anchor and stretch-five of the Indiana Pacers, both of which are areas that the Spurs would greatly benefit from having. For reference, San Antonio boasts the lowest three-point shooting team by volume in the NBA this season while also having a less than stellar defense
With Turner being a team-first oriented player, he doesn’t allow being ranked fifth on his team in field goal attempts per game (9.8) and sixth in usage rate (18.0 percent) to lead him to complain. In addition, he also has sat for all of the fourth quarter in a variety of games, too.
“I had to do a little bit of soul-searching,” Turner said, via J. Michael of the IndyStar. “It’s very easy to say I want to shoot the ball 20 times a game or I want to score 20 points. I’m on a great team with guys that can make plays. I’ve got to fall in line.”
It’s worth noting, the small role within the Pacers’ offense this season for Turner has taken place with Victor Oladipo sidelined for all of their games. Also, Malcolm Brogdon has been in and out of the lineup due to injuries throughout the season. It’s likely that Turner will experience an even further drop in his involvement on offense, potentially below career-low levels.
Keep in mind, Turner has shown significant improvement at posting up against switches, driving the lane out of space, and as a play finisher near the basket. With greater opportunity on a team like the Spurs, perhaps Turner would be able to more regularly showcase those abilities beyond the main areas of his regular impact.
After participating in the 2019 FIBA World Cup with USA Basketball, Turner and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich now have familiarity with one another. While they fell short of winning it all, Turner played a key leadership role with the program and Popovich was able to witness it.
The Spurs do not have a significant amount of players or assets that would probably interest the Pacers in a trade for Myles Turner straight up. However, using a player like DeRozan or Aldridge in a three-team deal would help San Antonio in their efforts.