Why the Pacers should try to flip Myles Turner for Kevin Love
While the Indiana Pacers have been playing just fine without their All-Star guard in the lineup, Victor Oladipo returned to play on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls. While he only had nine points, two rebounds and four assists, Dipo did have the play of the game when he banked the game-tying triple in the fourth quarter that sent it into overtime.
— NBA (@NBA) January 30, 2020
Even though Pacers big man Myles Turner didn’t play in the game due to a sprained ankle, it’s unclear whether or not he’d even be on the floor for big moments like that.
Due to the emergence of Domatas Sabonis — who rightfully earned his first All-Star selection after averaging 18. 2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game on 56.3 percent from the field — Turner has seen his value decrease at a steady rate for the Pacers.
After posting some borderline All Star stats of his own, Turner has had a bit of a down year. He is currently averaging 12.o points and 6.0 rebounds per contest, both of which are career-low averages since his rookie season.
While Indiana has tried to make an inside-outside game work, Turner flat out doesn’t look comfortable playing out on the perimeter. Even though he brings a decent defensive presence, he may need a change of scenery to play to his full potential with as much capital as Indiana has invested in Sabonis.
All these reasons are why Turner could be an excellent trade piece if the Pacers wanted to pursue Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. Turner could reach his full potential with a coach who focuses more on player development like John Beilein.
On the flip side, adding Love could make the Pacers a legitimate title contender. Rolling out a starting five of Love, Oladipo, Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren has enough scoring, versatility and defensive prowess to take on any team in the Eastern Conference.
It has been the NBA’s worst kept secret that Love is on the trade block, as he has been rumored to be available in trades since the beginning of this season along with fellow Cavs forward Tristan Thompson.
Love is averaging 17.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting a decent 45.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from deep. Love’s 2.6 triples made per game are a career high as well, having learned to adjust his game with the modern NBA .
Moreover, after playing with LeBron James, Love has become an ideal target for a team in search of a stretch four.
Love could be the perfect complementary piece for Sabonis. With the Lithuanian center manning the paint and Love spotting up from beyond the arce and running pick-and-pops with Oladipo and Brogdon, the Pacers have a versatile offense with lots of scoring offense.
With the size of Kevin Love’s contract, Indiana would have to throw in some young talent and expiring contracts to make the Myles Turner deal work. But now may be as good a time as ever to make to make a big move since the East has never been more wide open.