Myles Turner Won't Be Traded to Lakers Before 2022-23 Season Starts, Pacers GM Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 08:  Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers 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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The Indiana Pacers don't intend to trade center Myles Turner prior to the 2022-23 NBA season tips off.

Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said Wednesday on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis (via Evan Sidery of BasketballNews.com) that Turner will be the team's starting center on opening night.

The Athletic's Jovan Buha and Sam Amick reported on Sept. 16 the 6'11" big man had been a trade target for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.

Although Turner is set to start the upcoming year in Indiana, whether he finishes it with the Pacers is another matter.

The franchise hasn't torn its roster down to the studs, but trading Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis ahead of last season's deadline pointed toward a shift in priorities. The front office is building toward the future with Tyrese Haliburton as the focal point.

Because of that, Turner is a natural candidate to go between now and the 2023 trade deadline before even factoring in his contract situation. He's on an expiring deal, so he could be out the door next summer anyway.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported in June the Pacers were "hopeful about Turner's long-term prospects in Indiana" but that the two-time block champion "might seek to play out the final season of his contract."

When it comes to Turner's future, you can make strong cases for trading the 26-year-old or attempting to re-sign him to a multiyear extension. He's a proven rim protector (2.3 blocks per game over his career) who has expanded his offensive repertoire. His 61.5 percent true shooting rate in 2021-22 was a personal best, per Basketball Reference.

Turner is an attractive asset for contenders, so he could presumably net a nice haul despite his expiring contract. The Pacers could simply keep him, though, to serve as a veteran leader for a young squad and a potent pick-and-roll partner with Haliburton.

Based on Buchanan's comment, it appears Indiana at least wants to see what it has with Turner and Haliburton together after they were unable to share the floor last year.