Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files said he believes the Pacers originally intended to move Myles Turner rather than Domantas Sabonis at last season’s trade deadline. However, Turner went down with an injury and an opportunity arose to acquire Tyrese Haliburton using Sabonis, so Indiana jumped at it.
Although Turner remains with the Pacers for now, Agness believes it’s more likely than not that he and Buddy Hield finish the 2022/23 season with another team.
The Lakers have been the team most often mentioned as landing spot for the veteran duo, but Agness thinks Indiana will want to hold firm to its reported asking price of two unprotected first-round picks for Turner and Hield. As Agness notes, the small-market Pacers won’t have forgotten that the Lakers previously tampered with Paul George and won’t be eager to give them what they want.
It’s unclear whether the Nets have any interest in Turner, but Scotto says that general manager Sean Marks recently spoke to Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard, Chad Buchanan, and Happy Walters when the two teams faced one another in a back-to-back set in Brooklyn on Saturday and Monday.
Here are a few more highlights from the conversation between Agness and Scotto:
- Agness and Scotto both believe Turner will be seeking at least $20-25MM annually on his next contract, with Scotto citing Atlanta big man Clint Capela as a point of comparison (Capela’s most recent extension was worth $21.5MM per year). Agness, meanwhile, suggests that Turner would like to get more individual recognition for his play – including leading the NBA in blocks per game multiple times – which could be a factor in his free agency decision next summer.
- While Turner and Hield are the Pacers veterans most frequently mentioned as trade candidates, Agness says center Daniel Theis should be added to that group too. The veteran center has yet to play for Indiana this season, with the team citing right knee soreness on its injury reports.
- According to Scotto, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle has referred to Jalen Smith as an “important part of our future.” As Agness details, Carlisle flew to Maryland during free agency to meet with Smith and have dinner with him and his parents.