Myles Turner Calls Out Pacers' Value of Him amid NBA Trade Rumors

Adam WellsDecember 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)
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Amid a disappointing 11-16 start to the season and speculation that a rebuild could be coming, Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner is unhappy with the organization. 

Speaking to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Turner believes the Pacers don't see him as a valued part of their lineup:

"It’s clear that I’m not valued as anything more than a glorified role player here, and I want something more, more opportunity. I’m trying really hard to make the role that I’m given here work and find a way to maximize it. I’ve been trying to the past two, three seasons. But it’s clear to me that, just numbers-wise, I’m not valued as more than a rotational role player, and I hold myself in a higher regard than that."

On Tuesday, Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic reported the Pacers "are receptive" to engaging trade discussions for either Turner or Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert.

Turner has been mentioned in trade rumors for years, but the Pacers have been unwilling to part with their 25-year-old center to this point. 

Indiana has struggled to find ways to maximize its roster with Turner and Sabonis, a fellow big, in their six seasons as teammates. 

Head coach Rick Carlisle told J.L. Kirven of the Indianapolis Star in July he planned to stagger the minutes for Turner and Sabonis. 

"I’ve talked to both guys about it," said Carlisle, in the first year of his second stint as the team's coach. "They both like playing together and they were both open to doing these different kind of things and talking about them and putting them into play."

Even though Sabonis is generally regarded as the better offensive player, Turner has actually shown good growth in his skill set in recent years. The 6'11" Texas product is shooting 36.1 percent from three-point range since the start of 2017-18. 

Turner is also a much better defender than Sabonis. He has averaged at least 2.1 blocks per game in each of the previous four seasons. The Texas native has led the league in blocks per game twice in the past three seasons and is currently leading the league in that category this season (2.8 per game). 

The Pacers brought in Carlisle to get the franchise back on track after finishing 34-38 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15 last season under Nate Bjorkgren. 

Things haven't started out well in Indiana this season. The team's 11-16 record is only ahead of the Orlando Magic (5-21) and Detroit Pistons (4-20) in the Eastern Conference. 

Turner is owed $17.5 million this season and in 2022-23 before he can become a free agent. He's averaging 12.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game with a 39.7 three-point percentage in 26 starts in 2021-22.