As suggested by a recent list of trade ideas for all 30 NBA teams, the Toronto Raptors could upgrade their roster ahead of the 2020-21 season by acquiring center Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers.
According to Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz, it’s possible that recent free-agent acquisition Aron Baynes could fill the void left by Marc Gasol — who recently agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers — and take over as the Raptors’ new starter in the middle. However, he pointed out that Turner, who is nine years younger than Baynes at just 24 years old, has “considerably more upside” and could replace the shot-blocking that free-agent departures Gasol and Serge Ibaka provided during their time in Toronto.
As proposed by Swartz, the Raptors could acquire Turner by offering a package that includes shooting guard Norman Powell, reserve forward Stanley Johnson, an unprotected first-round pick from the 2021 draft, and a 2023 second-rounder. He noted that swinging this deal could allow the former Texas Longhorns star to team up with Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby to give the Raptors one of the league’s “strongest starting fives.”
Per Basketball-Reference, Turner’s numbers took a slight hit in most statistical categories in 2019-20 as fellow big man Domantas Sabonis enjoyed a breakout season at power forward. He did, however, remain quite productive, averaging 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game and shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three-point range.
Talking about how the Pacers could benefit from the hypothetical move, Swartz wrote that Powell, who averaged a career-best 16 points and shot 39.9 percent from beyond the arc, could be a key contributor for Indiana following his breakout 2019-20 campaign. He added that the deal could also allow Sabonis to step up as the Pacers’ full-time starting center, with the unprotected first-rounder giving the team “lots of flexibility” as they continue upgrading their roster.
A former lottery selection out of Arizona, Johnson’s potential contributions were not mentioned, though as his Basketball-Reference page shows, he has yet to live up to expectations in five NBA seasons. Last year, he averaged just 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in six minutes per game for the Raptors.
The aforementioned trade idea was not the first in recent months to involve both the Raptors and the Pacers. In September, it was suggested that Toronto could acquire Victor Oladipo — whose contract is due to expire after the 2020-21 season — from Indiana for a package featuring two younger guards in VanVleet and Anunoby.