Knicks Trade Rumors: Pacers' Myles Turner Draws Interest from NY

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 08:  Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball against the  New York Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 08, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.     NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are reportedly a team to watch if the Indiana Pacers trade center Myles Turner.

According to Peter Botte of the New York Post, the Knicks have expressed interest in Turner amid rumors that the Pacers are looking to enter into a rebuild.

Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic reported Tuesday that the Pacers are "moving toward a rebuild" and "receptive" to trade offers involving guard Caris LeVert and one of their top big men in Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Indiana selected Turner with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 draft, and the Texas product has developed into a defensive force since then.

In 2018-19, Turner led the NBA in blocks for the first time with 2.7 per game and he also posted the second-best scoring and rebounding figures of his career with 13.3 points and 7.2 boards per game.

After a down year in 2019-20, Turner bounced back in a big way last season, leading the NBA in blocks again and setting a career high with 3.4. He also averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Turner has been even better from an all-around perspective this season, and he is still the NBA's leading shot blocker with 2.8 per game.

The 25-year-old is also putting up 12.9 points per contest and is matching his career high with 7.3 rebounds per game. Additionally, the 6'11" Turner continues to expand his range with a career-best 1.8 three-pointers made per game, and his field-goal percentage of .531 is his best since shooting .511 in his second season.

Given his defensive prowess, age and the fact that he is under contract through next season (with only an $18 million salary-cap hit), Turner would likely net the Pacers a significant package in return via trade.

If the Knicks trade for Turner, it could be a sign they are ready to move on from starting center Mitchell Robinson, who has not reached his potential as quickly as hoped.

Injuries have hampered the 7-footer throughout his career and limited him to 31 games last season, but even when healthy, he has shown there are some holes in his game.

The No. 36 overall pick in the 2018 draft is averaging 6.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest in 25.0 minutes over 22 games this season.

After shocking the basketball world and reaching the playoffs last season as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are off to a slow start this season at 12-13, which leaves them in 11th place.

On Wednesday, they fell 122-102 to the Pacers and got a firsthand look at Turner, who recorded 22 points, four rebounds, three three-pointers made and two blocks.