Myles Turner Trade Rumors: Star Likely to Stay with Pacers After Deadline Buzz

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 31: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers in action in the game against the Chicago Bulls at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 31, 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 Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

As they chart a new course for the future, the Indiana Pacers still see Myles Turner as an important part of the roster.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported Wednesday (via RealGM) that the Pacers are likely to keep Turner rather than trade him as he enters the final year of his contract.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz reported in December the Pacers were warming to the idea of trading away their notable veterans in order to rebuild. Indiana subsequently dealt Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert.

Turner stuck around despite being mentioned as a possible candidate to also leave. However, he missed nearly the entire second half of the season because of a stress reaction in his foot.

Now that it's the offseason, it's natural that the 6'11" center would be the subject of trade speculation. But Stein reported in April that the team prefers to keep the two-time block champion, and it appears nothing has changed on that front.

Indiana was fortunate in that it effectively swapped one franchise cornerstone for another when it sent Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings.

Tyrese Haliburton averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists in 26 games with Indiana, and he provided ample hope for the future. While the Pacers still need to make improvements to challenge for a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference, their road back may not be as arduous as it typically is for rebuilding teams considering their foundation.

The risk of keeping Turner, however, is he could always leave as an unrestricted free agent next summer. That said, he's only 26 years old, so he can fit into Indiana's short- and long-term vision if the two sides can strike a new deal.

At the very least, seeing how the Turner/Haliburton partnership works before seriously entertaining trade offers makes sense. Doing so runs that risk that Indiana will lose its leverage at the negotiating table should the pairing fail to work out, but that's still probably a gamble worth making.