Before acquiring center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons prior to the February 6 trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers were apparently shopping for other power forwards or centers to bolster their frontcourt. As a recent report suggests, the Cavs’ pre-deadline targets included yet another standout big man from a Central Division rival — Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.
Citing the latest episode of Chris Fedor’s Wine and Gold Talk Podcast on Cleveland.com, Cavs Nation wrote on Tuesday that the Cavaliers had made inquiries with the Pacers regarding Turner’s availability in the lead-up to last month’s trade deadline. While the former first-round pick had been mentioned in a number of trade rumors in previous months, the talks reportedly were not fruitful, thus forcing Cleveland to look elsewhere for frontcourt help.
As further noted by Cavs Nation, the Cavaliers were looking to trade for a big man like Turner before February 6 due to the lack of progress in talks to re-sign their erstwhile starting center, Tristan Thompson. Despite how Thompson was putting up career-best numbers as of the trade deadline, the veteran was relegated to the bench upon Drummond’s arrival. However, the publication added that it isn’t certain either whether Drummond will opt-in to the final year of his contract, especially considering his “diminishing market” at the time he was acquired from the Pistons.
“Simply put, the Cavs were hunting for rim protectors and once they were unable to land a capable one like Turner, they quickly pivoted to Drummond.”
Another angle of Myles Turner’s clutch bucket from Indy's win! ???? pic.twitter.com/VGguCn5Aez— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 28, 2020
At the time the NBA indefinitely suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 due to coronavirus concerns, Turner was averaging 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in 55 games and shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range, per Basketball-Reference. He has, however, been replaced by Domantas Sabonis as the Pacers’ top frontcourt option, with the former Gonzaga standout posting averages of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and five assists per game at the time of the suspension.
Given Turner’s ability to block shots and stretch the floor with his outside shooting, the 23-year-old former Texas Longhorns star was previously suggested multiple times as an ideal trade target for other teams aside from the Cavaliers. Late last year, he was brought up as a potential acquisition for the Boston Celtics, who were then rotating players such as Enes Kanter, Robert Williams, and Daniel Theis at the center position but have yet to find an adequate replacement for Al Horford, who joined the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 free agency period.