Despite losing Victor Oladipo to a season-ending injury, the Indiana Pacers still managed to finish the 2018-19 NBA season as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Pacers suffered an early playoff exit after being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Even if they have a healthy Oladipo, it remains a big question mark if the Pacers’ roster, as currently constructed, has what it takes to dominate the Eastern Conference and win an NBA championship.
If they are serious about making noise in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Pacers should find ways to surround Victor Oladipo with quality players next summer. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently created a list of superstars that teams could target in the 2019 NBA offseason. For the Pacers, Buckley suggested that they could go after Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Pacers would send a trade package centered on Myles Turner to the Grizzlies in exchange for Mike Conley. The deal would not only be beneficial for the Pacers, but also for the Grizzlies, especially if they are planning to undergo a full-scale rebuild next summer.
“Turner is a defensive star and, as of this past season, a 38.8 percent three-point shooter. Pairing him with 19-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr. would give the Grizzlies a couple of under-25 unicorns to form their next foundation. And it’s possible Turner would bring something else to Beale Street in this exchange — maybe draft considerations or a prospect.”
The value of Mike Conley: Over the coming weeks GBB Site Manager @JoeMullinax will explore possible Mike Conley deals. In Part I, he breaks down two potential trade partners - the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers. https://t.co/3jM5O1mJuR pic.twitter.com/e55ttxatQg— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) April 25, 2019
Myles Turner is only 23-years-old, making him a good fit with the timeline of Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, who is highly expected to become the new face of the Grizzlies franchise. Jackson Jr. has shown lots of superstar potential in his rookie season, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 50.6 percent shooting from the field, and 35.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Pairing him with Turner could give the Grizzlies a younger or even better version of the Mike Conley-Marc Gasol tandem.
Meanwhile, Mike Conley will be an incredible addition to the Pacers, giving Victor Oladipo an All-Star caliber backcourt partner who could ease the load on his shoulders on the offensive end of the floor. Conley may have not expressed his desire to leave the Grizzlies, but at this point in his NBA career, he will surely want to play for a team that can at least compete in the postseason than being part of the rebuilding process.