Myles Turner Rumors: Clippers Remain a 'Legitimate Suitor' to Trade for Pacers Star

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2023

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 4: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 4, 2023 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers may not choose to trade Myles Turner after a surprising 23-19 start to the 2022-23 season. But if they do put the center on the market, don't be surprised if the Los Angeles Clippers come calling.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Clips "remain a legitimate suitor for Turner as well."

Per that report, the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors have "registered interest in recent transaction cycles" in regards to Turner, though the market has seemed to cool on him in general.

Fischer added that the Charlotte Hornets—previously thought to be a potential suitor—don't "appear very keen on upgrading [their] roster ahead of the deadline." And the interest from the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans regarding Turner has "dissipated."

It may all be a moot point. Turner and the Pacers are reportedly in "fluid extension conversations," with the team able to offer "$96.7 million over four seasons, and that is indeed the early range for Turner's talks that has circled around the league."

The 26-year-old is having arguably the best season of his career, averaging career highs in points (17.0 PPG) and rebounds (7.9 RPG) while adding 2.3 blocks per game and shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the field.

That ability to both protect the rim and stretch the floor as a shooter is highly valuable in the modern NBA, and the Pacers may be more apt to build around a core of Turner, Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin at this point than ship out Turner.

One possibility, as Fischer noted, was addressing the power forward position with Atlanta's John Collins, who is perpetually on the trade block.

As he wrote: "Would a combination of Duarte and draft capital be enough to satisfy Atlanta's desired value in return for John Collins? Indiana has internally discussed the prospect of adding Collins, sources told Yahoo Sports."

As for the Clippers, adding a center with Turner's particular skill set would make a lot of sense. At 22-21, the team has been disappointing thus far, snapping a six-game losing streak on Tuesday. And while Ivica Zubac is a solid player, he doesn't offer the rim protection or floor spacing of Turner.

Much of the Clippers season will come down to keeping the star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George healthy, which has proven a difficult task since the pair joined forces. But a player like Turner would certainly help.