Indiana Pacers could be taking Myles Turner off the trade market

Indiana Pacers, NBA Trade Rumors

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Myles Turner has been one of the hottest names in NBA trade rumors but the Pacers have just signaled their intention to try and keep him.

Myles Turner’s future in Indiana has never looked entirely secure over the past few seasons. He’s been mentioned in trade rumors for years and while the path looked clear for him after the Pacers traded Domantas Sabonis last February, Indiana went out and signed Deandre Ayton to an offer sheet this offseason.

The Phoenix Suns ultimately matched and Turner enter this season on an expiring contract and perhaps with some understandable frustration and the Pacers’ unwillingness to commit to him. He and Buddy Hield were frequently mentioned as a possible trade package for the Los Angeles Lakers and he even appeared to be trying to sell the Lakers on trading for him during an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast at the end of October.

But the trade hasn’t come and the Pacers have been making noise on the court. Since that podcast appearance, Indiana is 13-12 and has worked their way into the playoff conversation. Turner is averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.9 blocks per game, shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc over the same stretch. His offensive game has blossomed in tandem with Tyrese Haliburton and the rest of the young backcourt.

Now Shams Charania is reporting that the Pacers have begun talks with Turner on a contract extension that would remove the need to trade him or risk losing him for nothing this summer.

What would it take the Indiana Pacers to re-sign Myles Turner?

The Pacers will presumably have to pony up for Turner, both to show their commitment and smooth over any ruffled feathers over the Ayton situation and the persistent trade explorations over the past few years. Turner is currently playing out the last year of a four-year, $70 million contract that kicked in before the 2019-20 season. One imagines he’ll be looking for a decent bump in annual salary regardless of whether he’s extending with the Pacers or exploring open free agency this summer.

Of course, just because the Pacers are beginning contract talks with Turner doesn’t mean they’ll actually agree to terms. As Caitlin Cooper of IndyCornrows pointed out, the Pacers could have leaked this information to Shams as an attempt to increase leverage in trade negotiations and extract more from teams like the Lakers or Raptors who have reportedly been interested.

Either way, it’s a pretty big pivot from where things stood just a month or two ago — winning can solve a lot of problems.

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