As NBA free agency gets set to open at midnight, the New York Knicks are already looking at targets that they want to pursue next offseason. New York is hoping to get back into playoff contention in the next couple of years and it will all start with how the Knicks decide to play things throughout the next couple free agency periods. It appears that the Knicks already have an idea of who they want to target next year.
According to a report from Ian Begley of ESPN, the Knicks are planning to pursue Indiana Pacers talented big man Myles Turner. He will be a restricted free agent next offseason, which means that the Pacers will be able to match any offer sheet that Turner signs.
“Knicks president Steve Mills made it clear that New York plans to sign a star in the 2019 offseason. The obvious candidates for that summer include Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson. But there are other potential free agents that summer that should be on the Knicks’ radar. One of them is Myles Turner. Assuming Indiana doesn’t sign Turner to an extension this summer, New York will have a chance to sign Turner to an offer sheet. Landing the 7-0 big man could be a big coup for the Knicks. Turner and Kristaps Porzingis would give New York two big men who can play inside, on the perimeter and defend the paint. Turner, it’s worth noting, has family in New York (his father is from Queens) and a relationship with Porzingis dating back to the 2015 NBA Draft. Turner, 22, is also younger (and has a cleaner injury history) than some the top free agents in the 2019 class.”
Turner would be an intriguing fit alongside Kristaps Porzingis in New York. Having two 7-foot big men who are capable of scoring from mid-range and outside while putting the ball on the floor would be scary for opposing defenses to face.
During the 2017-18 NBA season with the Pacers, Turner ended up averaging 12.7 points per game to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. He shot 47.9 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 35.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers were not the big jump that many expected from Turner, but part of that had to do with Victor Oladipo’s emergence.
At just 22-years-old, Turner will be entering a huge season in 2018-19. He has been attacking his offseason workouts and is trying to get stronger. That improvement alone will make him a much better all-around player.
Throughout his time with the Pacers, Turner has made his love for the Pacers known. He has been a top-notch teammate and has been a great influence in the community. It doesn’t seem likely that Indiana will allow him to walk in free agency and would likely match any offer sheet that another team signs him to.
Even more likely, Kevin Pritchard could try to get a long-term extension done with Turner before he hits free agency.
All of that being said, the Knicks don’t seem likely to pursue any big names this offseason. Turner may not be a “flashy” name that fans in New York would want their team to sign, but he is an ideal fit alongside Porzingis and would give the Knicks one of the most lethal front-court duos in the league.