When Paul George was traded in 2017, most people thought Myles Turner would be the man that would lead the Indiana Pacers back to title contention. However, three years after the departure of George, he suddenly became the odd man out in Indiana. With the emergence of Domantas Sabonis, rumors are circulating that the Pacers will consider making Turner available on the trading block in the 2020 offseason.
One of the teams who could express a strong interest in acquiring Turner from the Pacers is the New Orleans Pelicans. According to Corey Rausch of Fansided’s Hoops Habit, the Pacers and the Pelicans could engage in a deal that would send Turner to New Orleans in exchange for Lonzo Ball and Darius Miller. If the deal becomes a reality, Rausch believes it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve their roster.
“Ball is the prize here and should be treated as such. He has experience this season playing alongside other guards (and wings for that matter) who need the ball so he has learned to play off ball when needed. He has developed into a strong spot up shooter. Furthermore, during the regular season, he shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range and that is including the abysmal play-in games. Lonzo Ball is an elite passer and would combine well with Malcolm Brogdon to be a two-headed monster when it comes to creating the best possible shots for themselves and teammates.”
Ball could serve as the new starting backcourt partner for Malcolm Brogdon if the Pacers also decide to part ways with Victor Oladipo this fall. Though he plays at the point guard position, Ball could also excel even without the ball in his hands and has shown a massive improvement with his three-point shooting. This season, he averaged 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Meanwhile, trading Ball for Turner would also make a lot of sense for the Pelicans. Instead of being pressured to give Derrick Favors a lucrative contract in the 2020 free agency, the potential deal would allow the Pelicans to add a new starting center that fits the timeline of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. Turner would be an incredible addition to New Orleans.
Turner would not only give the Pelicans a dominant presence under the basket but also a very reliable scoring option, a great rebounder, and a floor-spacing big man. This season, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. The arrival of Turner wouldn’t turn the Pelicans into an instant title contender in the Western Conference, but it would undoubtedly strengthen their chances of reaching the playoffs next year.