Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Middleton, Caruso

It’s uncertain how changing agents will impact Pacers center Myles Turner this season, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack newsletter.

Turner, who is headed to free agency, still has fans within the Pacers’ organization, according to Stein. His name has been in the trade rumor mill for quite awhile, though his initial hope was to play out this season and then head to free agency, Stein adds.

It remains to be seen whether the Pacers will hold onto Turner through the trade deadline if they’re unable to sign him to an extension. He’s averaging 18.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game this season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Even with Turner in the lineup, the Pacers are vulnerable to getting pushed around up front, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star notes. That point was reinforced by the Clippers’ Ivica Zubac, who powered his way to 31 points and 29 rebounds on Sunday. “He had a great presence around the basket. We didn’t do a good job on him,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I don’t know what else there is to say.”
  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton was once again assigned to the G League’s Wisconsin Herd on Monday to get some practice time and then recalled, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets. When asked if Middleton might return to action on Wednesday, coach Mike Budenholzer remained vague. “We’ll just see how today goes,” he said. “We’re not going to put anything ahead of itself and just hopefully he has another great session today, see how he feels and just the old cliché take it day by day.” Middleton underwent offseason wrist surgery and has yet to make his season debut.
  • The Bulls are keeping a close watch on Alex Caruso‘s minutes, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Caruso has been dealing with a right ankle sprain and hasn’t practiced in recent days. “Just trying to be conscientious of his minutes and those long stretches for him because he does play hard,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. “From my perspective, there are going to be some nights where he’s going to get over 30 minutes. For the most part, we’re just trying to manage how hard he does play and compete in relationship to the number of minutes he’s getting.’’
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