Myles Turner

Central Notes: Pacers, Hayward, Kennard, Pistons, Bucks, Bulls

In a pair of stories, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) provide a few additional details on the Pacers‘ pursuit of Gordon Hayward in free agency, confirming that the Celtics sought a second starting player in addition to Myles Turner in a potential Hayward sign-and-trade. That lines up with what Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported last week.

Agness says that Hayward and his family purchased a home in the Indianapolis area over a year ago and that his wife was excited about the possibility of moving back to Indiana. However, Ainge apparently drove a hard bargain in trade discussions — Michael reports that even an offer of Turner, a first-round pick, and a rotation player (possibly Doug McDermott, as Washburn reported) wasn’t enough to win over the Celtics.

It’s possible that the hard line drawn by Ainge wouldn’t have ultimately mattered — the Hornets‘ offer of four years and $120MM was about $15MM higher than the Pacers were willing to go, according to Agness. That difference certainly may have been enough to lure Hayward to Charlotte even if the Pacers and Celtics had agreed to trade terms.

Still, both Agness’ and Michael’s reports seem to suggest there was a window when the two teams’ inability to work out a sign-and-trade agreement may have been the only thing standing in the way of Hayward going to Indiana. According to Michael, once the Hornets put their $120MM offer on the table, Ainge wanted to go back to the Pacers to negotiate in “good faith,” but Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein “pulled the plug” on that as the veteran forward chose Charlotte.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • It flew under the radar a little since it wasn’t reported as part of the initial agreement, but the Pistons gave up an eye-popping four second-round picks in their deal that sent Luke Kennard to the Clippers and landed them No. 19 pick Saddiq Bey. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link), those four second-rounders “appear to have been in part the cost of Kennard’s past knee issues.” However, Kennard’s camp is confident those issues are behind him, and it seems the Clippers are too, writes Lowe.
  • While the 2020 draft may not be packed with future stars, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said his club “really liked” this year’s class, which was why the team traded for multiple extra picks. “We liked the players that were in it and we just felt there were quality young men that could help continue to build our program, we were aggressive,” Weaver said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Referring to Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saben Lee, the Pistons’ GM added, “Hopefully, we can look back in time and call this our core four.”
  • The failed Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade was a bad look for the franchise, but Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription required) contends there’s a case to be made that the Bucks will ultimately be better off with the moves they made instead. Not landing Bogdanovic allowed Milwaukee to offer more than the minimum to add role players like D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes, and the team didn’t end up having to part with promising 23-year-old Donte DiVincenzo.
  • In his latest mailbag, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago fields questions about the Bulls‘ surprising No. 4 draft pick and the club’s relatively quiet free agent period.

Atlantic Notes: Turner, Rivers/Howard, Gasol, Knicks

The Celtics had an opportunity to add Pacers big man Myles Turner in a sign-and-trade package deal for departing forward Gordon Hayward. Zach Lowe of ESPN believes that Turner “would probably be a Celtic” if the club really wanted to add him.

The Celtics wound up adding former Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson in free agency instead of making the trade for Turner. Turner is set to earn $18MM/year for the next three seasons, while Thompson inked a two-year deal worth $9.5MM annually.

There’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • During his first video conference call with his new squad, Sixers center Dwight Howard discussed his recruitment by head coach Doc Rivers soon after free agency began last Friday, and recruit him, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “He was the first one to call me and he said we want you,” Howard said. “I’m super happy that Doc called me, that he gave me the opportunity, and I told him yes.”
  • Marc Gasol, who signed a two-year contract with the Lakers as a free agent, said it was a “tough” decision to leave the Raptors and that his run in Toronto “could not get better,” as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “I’m going to miss Toronto,” Gasol said. “Toronto has been a great place, my family was very settled there, very comfortable, they really enjoyed their time.” Gasol added that the rumors of his potential return to Spain were overblown and that he never spoke to FC Barcelona (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of
  • Steve Popper of Newsday indicates that the Knicks might still be in the market for talent this offseason. The team remains $8MM below the salary cap floor. Given the club’s cap space, New York might be in the mix to take back money in a trade. Popper notes that the contracts of Nicolas Batum, Victor Oladipo, and DeMar DeRozan could still be traded into cap space.
  • New Knicks coaching hire Aaron Brooks will be the first “two-way liaison” in the NBA, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. We passed along word of Brooks’ hiring earlier today.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Receiving Interest From Pacers?

NOVEMBER 22, 12:40am: A source with knowledge of the situation tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link) that the Pacers “aren’t engaged” in sign-and-trade talks with the Kings on a deal that would involve Bogdanovic and Turner.

Anderson clarifies in a follow-up tweet that there’s room for interpretation regarding the Pacers’ level of interest in Bogdanovic, but his source “flatly rejected” the idea of Turner being involved in a deal.

NOVEMBER 21, 10:00pm: The Pacers weren’t able to complete a sign-and-trade deal with Boston to land Gordon Hayward, but the Celtics forward apparently wasn’t the only sign-and-trade target on the team’s radar.

Sources tell James Ham of NBC Sports California that Indiana has shown interest in Kings restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is also drawing interest from the Hawks.

Atlanta has the cap room necessary to sign Bogdanovic to an offer sheet. In that scenario, the Kings would have to elect whether or not to match the offer, and would lose the talented swingman for nothing if they decline to match.

The over-the-cap Pacers would have to negotiate a sign-and-trade with Sacramento in order to give Bogdanovic a contract that reflects his market value (believed to be in the range of $18MM annually). If Indiana is willing to make a player like Myles Turner available in that scenario, that would certainly appeal to the Kings more than the prospect of losing Bogdanovic for nothing, Ham writes.

There would be some cap-related hurdles to overcome in any deal between the Kings and Pacers. And, of course, as the Bucks and the Kings were reminded earlier in the week, Bogdanovic himself would have to sign off on the idea of joining the Pacers over Atlanta or another team. Still, it’s certainly a possibility worth keeping an eye on.

For what it’s worth, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports that the Pacers – as well as the Rockets – expressed some exploratory interest in a possible sign-and-trade for free agent guard Fred VanVleet before he committed to re-sign with the Raptors.

Latest On Gordon Hayward

4:57pm: Hayward has told the Celtics he wants to go to the Pacers, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. The Pacers offered Myles Turner and Doug McDermott to Boston in a sign-and-trade scenario but the Celtics want Turner and either Warren or Victor Oladipo.

4:45pm: The Hornets are expected to pursue Gordon Hayward in free agency but will likely need to work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics to make it happen, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports.

Hayward declined his whopping $34.2MM option in order to become an unrestricted free agent. In 52 games last season, he averaged 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG on .500/.383/.855 shooting but missed a good chunk of the playoffs with an ankle injury.

Charlotte has approximately $19.4MM in cap space, so it’s unlikely Hayward would sign a multi-year deal unless there’s a sign-and-trade scenario with Boston and perhaps a third team as a facilitator.

The Hornets could dangle the expiring contracts of Cody Zeller and Nicolas Batum as part of the package, Scotto notes.

Hayward has some history with the Hornets franchise. He signed an offer sheet with Charlotte in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent but the Jazz matched it.

The Pacers are also interested in Hayward via a sign-and-trade but are reluctant to part with T.J. Warren and Aaron Holiday, two players that Boston would have some interest in acquiring, according to Ian Begley of SNY TV. However, Hayward may try to force the Celtics’ hands. The former Butler University star is “fully focused” on returning to Indiana and playing for the Pacers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (hat tip to RealGM).

The Knicks are also expected to be in the mix for Hayward after freeing nearly $40MM in cap space.

Some with the organization have interest in signing Hayward as a free agent. However, the Knicks are unlikely to offer Hayward a four-year deal, Begley adds.

Pacers Rumors: Oladipo, Turner, Brogdon, More

Victor Oladipo agitated some of his Pacers teammates by saying some iteration of “Can I come play with y’all?” to members of the Raptors, Heat, and Knicks last season in front of his teammates, three sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

According to Michael, Oladipo has also gained a reputation throughout his career for being moody — he’ll be positive when things are going well, but has a tendency to point fingers if they aren’t, sources tell The Indy Star.

Still, Michael says the odds have increased that Oladipo will still be in Indiana when the 2020/21 season gets underway. As Michael explains, replacing head coach Nate McMillan with Nate Bjorkgren has helped “change the tone” for the Pacers, whose front office has maintained a “good rapport” with Oladipo. According to Michael, Oladipo’s agent Aaron Turner has also conveyed to the franchise that his client would like to stick around.

The Pacers have engaged in trade discussions involving Oladipo, including in hypothetical three-team deals that would also include big man Myles Turner, sources tell Michael. But for now, the two-time All-Star seems more likely than not to remain a Pacer until at least the 2021 trade deadline.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Indiana is keeping the door open for possible contract extension talks with Oladipo, but doesn’t expect a deal to be reached before he hits free agency in 2021, writes Michael. Signing a new contract in free agency would be the best way for Oladipo to maximize his earnings, since the most lucrative extension the Pacers can offer is worth less than the max.
  • Turner has generated plenty of interest, with the Celtics and Hornets believed to be among the teams with an eye on him, according to Michael. League sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Indy Star that while Turner entered the offseason resigned to the possibility that he may be playing elsewhere in 2020/21, the most recent interactions he has had with the franchise suggest he may end up staying put.
  • After joining the Pacers in 2019, Malcolm Brogdon emerged as the team’s leader. A league source told The Indy Star earlier this year that Oladipo felt it was “no longer his locker room” when he returned from his quad tendon injury, and two sources have since confirmed that sentiment, per Michael.
  • Brogdon was also the player who was most outspoken and displeased with McMillan’s coaching style, which was referred to as “coaching through fear,” according to Michael.

Pacers Notes: Bjorkgren, Sabonis, Turner, Oladipo

Speaking to reporters during his introductory press conference on Wednesday, new Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said he thinks Indiana will be a “fun team to watch” next season, promising a more dynamic offense and a willingness to be adaptable, as Michael Marot of The Associated Press writes.

“You’re going to see a lot of movement on both sides of the ball, different guys handling the ball, pushing it up the floor,” Bjorkgren said. “We want to utilize the three-point line. My approach to defense is you change and change quite frequently, between quarters, after timeouts, during an 8-0 run, I think that’s the disruptive part.”

Bjorkgren has never been a head coach at the NBA level, but he did serve as the head coach for three separate G League clubs between 2011-15. On Wednesday, he said that he feels as if that experience helped prepare him to be flexible and make adjustments as an NBA coach.

“You have to adapt very early and quite often,” Bjorkgren said, per Marot. “You could be at a shootaround and two guys get called up and another is going overseas so you have to coach on the fly. You have to know the next guy will be there and that’s the part of the coaching, keeping everybody ready at all times.”

Here’s more on the Pacers and their new head coach:

  • President of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers conducted formal interviews via Zoom with approximately a dozen candidates and then brought in six finalists for in-person interviews, writes Wheat Hotchkiss of By the end of the lengthy process, Pritchard was certain that Bjorkgren was the man for the job. “We felt like this was a no-brainer,” Pritchard said. “When we came to a decision, there were high-fives in our office and we knew that this was the right guy.”
  • Bjorkgren said on Wednesday that he’s “very confident” that Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner can continue to coexist in the Pacers’ lineup, likening the duo to Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka on his old team in Toronto. “When you talk about those two bigs, they’re not just any two bigs,” Bjorkgren said of Indiana’s duo, per Hotchkiss. “They are very dynamic and they complement each other very well.”
  • Asked during Wednesday’s presser about Victor Oladipo, neither Pritchard nor Bjorkgren gave any indication that they expect the All-Star guard to be traded this offseason. “He feels good about the team. He’s talked to me about how he thinks this team can be very good,” Pritchard said, according to Marot. “We hear a lot of things, but until it comes to me, I don’t really worry about that.”
  • Bjorkgren added that Oladipo texted him “immediately” after news of his hiring broke. “We had a great talk,” Bjorkgren said. “We talked about what I thought he could do, what I thought he could bring to this team, how he could make this team better, and how he could make himself better… I like his energy. I feel like our energy fed off each other a little bit there during the phone call.”

Pacers’ Oladipo, Turner Viewed As Offseason Trade Candidates?

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is “looking to move on” from Indiana this offseason, sources tell Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who writes that Pacers big man Myles Turner is “possibly in the same boat.”

Weiss is a Celtics beat writer and his update on Oladipo and Turner is buried within a piece about Boston’s future and upcoming roster decisions. However, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star confirms Weiss’ intel, tweeting that – based on conversations he has had – Oladipo and Turner are the two Pacers most likely to be moved before the 2020/21 season begins.

There has been some smoke on the Oladipo front for several months now. A report in the spring indicated that opposing teams were monitoring his situation in Indiana as he prepared to enter a contract year in 2020/21. A series of subsequent stories in July named the Heat as a probable suitor and indicated that the two-time All-Star intends to reach free agency in 2021 rather than signing an early extension with the Pacers.

An Indianapolis Star report at that time suggested that Oladipo’s top two priorities in free agency will be maximizing his earnings and putting himself in position to win championships. Whichever team holds Oladipo’s Bird rights when he reaches free agency will have the ability to offer him the most money and years, so if he’s not confident in the Pacers’ ability to compete for titles over the next several years, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start pushing for a deal to a preferred destination.

Following the Pacers’ elimination from the postseason in August, Oladipo didn’t suggest in his public comments that he was seeking an exit ramp out of Indiana, but he also didn’t strongly commit to the franchise. His situation will be worth watching closely going forward, especially since the Pacers showed in 2017 with Paul George that they’re not afraid to trade a disgruntled star a year ahead of his free agency.

As for Turner, he has been the subject of trade rumors in the past, since there have long been questions about his positional overlap with fellow big man Domantas Sabonis. Both players are on reasonably team-friendly deals, with Turner locked up through 2023 and Sabonis under contract through 2024. However, Sabonis may have emerged as the Pacers’ preferred long-term building block in 2019/20, as he earned an All-Star berth for the first time.

Indiana has long denied that it wants to break up the Turner/Sabonis frontcourt duo, but many executives around the NBA remain convinced it will happen at some point, and T.J. Warren‘s success as the team’s de facto power forward this summer will only fuel those trade rumors. Moving Turner could help the Pacers acquire a player – or player(s) – who would fit better with their core.

Pacers Notes: McMillan, Oladipo, Turner, Warren

The Pacers fired head coach Nate McMillan today, and sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic that McMillan’s apparent resistance to some modern offensive philosophies was a factor in that decision.

As Amick explains, McMillan is a coach with “old-school sensibilities (and) a defense-first approach” whose offense relied more on mid-range shots than three-pointers — the Pacers ranked last in the NBA this season in three-pointers per game. President of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard viewed McMillan’s offensive approach as an “inopportune fit,” according to Amick.

Taking that into account, it’s no surprise that Mike D’Antoni was the first head coaching target linked to the Pacers. Amick says he expects Indiana’s next coach to have an offense-first philosophy.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • As Victor Oladipo enters a contract year, his situation is worth monitoring this offseason. Amick wonders if playing for an offense-first coach like D’Antoni might convince Oladipo to remain in Indiana long-term, while Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report says a number of executives around the league believe the two-time All-Star is a candidate to hit the trade block this offseason.
  • Asked about his future with the Pacers this week, Oladipo said he’s not thinking about that right now and is no rush to make any decisions, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I know what I need to focus on, what I need to do to make sure my knee gets stronger and better and what I need to do to get better as a person and a player,” Oladipo said. “I learned a lot from this year, and I learned a lot from this series, so I just got to continue to keep working.”
  • Speaking to reporters after the Pacers’ elimination, big man Myles Turner expressed frustration with the team’s fifth consecutive first round exit, writes Bontemps. “At some point, you have to get over the hump, man,” Turner said. “Five years of being in the playoffs, five first-round exits. So me, personally, I take that s–t personally. You gotta find a way.”
  • Count Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra among those who wasn’t a fan of the Pacers’ decision to fire McMillan. Spoelstra said today that McMillan’s ouster was “totally ridiculous” and was critical of the “media fake extension” that Indiana gave him earlier this month (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). That contract extension reportedly just added a team option to McMillan’s deal, rather than any guaranteed seasons.
  • In an Insider article for, Bobby Marks previews the Pacers’ offseason, including looming decisions on Oladipo and T.J. Warren. As Marks observes, Warren will be extension-eligible, but Indiana can’t offer more than $49.3MM over three years.

Central Notes: Bulls, Boylen, Wood, Pistons, Turner

Speaking to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago following his recent dismissal, former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen expressed no hard feelings toward his old team, telling Johnson that he “loved every minute of working for the Bulls” and that he understands why new head of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas would want to bring in his own coach.

Boylen also expressed no regrets about his stint in Chicago, noting that Bulls ownership and former head of basketball ops John Paxson asked him to “bring more discipline” to the team. Boylen praised his players for competing hard, citing injuries and a young roster as a couple of the reasons why the club didn’t win more games.

“I don’t worry about people who haven’t coached critiquing me,” Boylen said. “I don’t try to be a doctor.”

Despite Boylen’s comments, reviews of his time with the Bulls weren’t exactly positive. According to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, who took a deep dive into the last two seasons in Chicago, Boylen’s tenure was described by multiple people within the organization as “toxic,” with one calling it “a circus” and another referring to it as a “nightmare.”

In Mayberry’s view, Boylen tried to maintain total control of the team with a tough, abrasive style, but “couldn’t get out of his own way.” Boylen’s greatest success during his time as the Bulls’ head coach, according to Mayberry, was “simply getting the job.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago explores which candidates for the Bulls‘ head coaching job are favored by oddsmakers, pointing out that one prominent sportsbook lists Ime Udoka, Adrian Griffin, Kenny Atkinson, and Tyronn Lue as the frontrunners.
  • The Pistons have more options with Christian Wood this fall than simply re-signing him or letting him walk, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic, who digs into how the team could use a sign-and-trade deal to its advantage if Wood wants to join a team without cap room.
  • The rebuilding Pistons should keep a close eye on players coming off two-way contracts, writes Duncan Smith of Forbes. As Forbes explains, under-the-radar free agents like Chris Chiozza are realistic targets for Detroit and could help the club make the most of its cap space.
  • Pacers big man Myles Turner recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about life on the Disney World campus, Indiana’s playoff outlook, Victor Oladipo‘s 2021 free agency, and several other topics.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Nunn, Warren, Micic

Wizards point guard John Wall expects to have a different role in the team’s offense once he rejoins Washington, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Wall has missed the entire 2019/20 season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

“My game is going to be totally different than what it was before because now with the way [Bradley Beal] can handle the ball,” Wall said of his Wizards teammate. “I can be off the ball a little bit and score from the wing and score in transition by running the wing.”

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference: