The Boston Celtics may have succeeded in surpassing expectations during the 2019-20 NBA season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look for ways to improve their roster during the offseason. The Celtics are far from perfect and have some issues they need to address, primarily their need for a defensive-minded big man. One of the potential targets for the Celtics in the 2020 offseason is Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.
Since the departure of Al Horford last summer, the Celtics have been active on the market searching for a defensive-minded big man. Though they currently have Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams III manning the center position, none of them could fill the hole left by Horford on the defensive end. According to Corey Rausch of Fansided’s Hoops Habit, trading Gordon Hayward for Turner would not only immediately solve the Celtics’ problem, but it would also boost their “title potential” in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Turner would undeniably be a great addition to the Celtics. Aside from giving them a quality rim protector, he could also improve their performance in terms of scoring, rebounding, and floor-spacing. 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.
At 24, Turner perfectly fits the timeline of Boston’s franchise cornerstones Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Adding him to the core of Brown, Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart could make the Celtics better defensively and a more formidable team to face in a best-of-seven series.
If the deal becomes a reality, Rausch believes that it would not only be beneficial for the Celtics but also for the Pacers.
“Gordon Hayward is a hometown kid who played college at Butler. He could be a returning hero on a huge expiring contract. His health and contract have made some people forget just how good he is. His time in Boston may be cursed but his number are still solid, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists on shooting splits of.500/.383/.855 this season. This would give the team a one year trial run with a lineup of Malcolm Brogdon-Victor Oladipo-T.J.Warren-Gordon Hayward-Domantas Sabonis.”
The Pacers could hit two birds with one stone by trading Turner for Hayward. Aside from addressing the logjam in their frontcourt, it would also enable them to add a prolific scorer in Hayward that could help them make a deep playoff run next year. If Hayward fails to make an immediate impact, the Pacers could simply let him walk away in the 2021 free agency or use his expiring contract to acquire future draft assets before the 2021 NBA trade deadline.