Since losing Al Horford last summer, the Boston Celtics have been active on the market searching for a defensive-minded big man. Though the team currently has Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams III manning the center position, none of them could fill the huge hole Horford left on the defensive end of the floor. The Celtics may be performing well in the 2019-20 NBA season, but they are still expected to address that one major weakness on the roster this fall.
One of the potential trade targets for Boston in the 2020 offseason is Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggested that bringing Turner to Boston needs to be the offseason deal the Celtics should be thinking about. In the proposed trade scenario, Boston would be acquiring Turner from the Pacers for a package that is built around veteran small forward Gordon Hayward.
“The Celtics could use a sturdier defensive presence underneath to deal with some of the colossal centers that could be standing between them and a title (like Joel Embiid or Anthony Davis). Ideally, that player can also shoot from three so as to not disrupt the spacing in Boston’s fifth-ranked offense. Myles Turner, a career 35.4 percent shooter from three who averages 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes, fits the bill. And he might be available since Indy needs to balance the roster with Domantas Sabonis and Goga Bitadze also in the frontcourt.”
Turner is yet to turn himself into an All-Star caliber player, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Celtics. He wouldn’t only immediately address their need of a defensive-minded center, but he would also give them a big man capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. This season, he’s averaging 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from the three-point range, per ESPN.
If Turner manages to build good chemistry with Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics would undoubtedly become a more dangerous team in the Eastern Conference next year. Being traded to Boston would also be beneficial for Turner. Unlike in Indiana, he would no longer need to battle for playing time and a spot in the starting lineup in Boston.
If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Celtics, but also for the Pacers. Aside from helping them solve the logjam in their frontcourt, they would also be acquiring a former All-Star in Hayward who would form their new core with Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Malcolm Brogdon next season.