New York Knicks: The fit and price tag of a Myles Turner trade

Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Myles Turner, New York Knicks. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks: Myles Turner’s fit

It seems that Turner would be an ideal fit for a defensive-oriented club like the Knicks by all accounts. New York was able to earn a postseason berth and establish themselves as an elite defense during their first season under veteran Tom Thibodeau. However, they did so without a primary anchor in the post.

Expected starter Mitchell Robinson was a major disappointment after appearing in just 29 contests due to injuries. This left journeymen Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson as the primary centers. Both performed admirably in extended minutes. But neither should be considered a legitimate starting option.

In many ways, Turner has already established himself as the player Knicks’ fans hope that Robinson can one day become. The former Texas Longhorns star has established himself as one of the premier shot blockers in the league (averaging 2.2 per game during his career). He is also coming off a season in which he led the league averaging a career-high 3.4 rejections per contest. He has the potential to be a Rudy-Gobert-like anchor in New York.

The Gobert comp isn’t hyperbole. Turner is an all-world shot blocker. Look at this example of his ability to react and recover:

This comes against a perennial All-Star Nikola Vucevic. And it isn’t an anomaly. Few players can recover to make defensive plays like this.

Turner also appears to have a higher offensive ceiling than his younger Knicks counterpart. Barring a major development, Robinson seems locked into a role as a rim runner and second chance weapon around the basket. While these are useful skills, it is unlikely he ever becomes a dangerous offensive threat. He will always maintain an elite shooting percentage, but he will never be able to create offense.

Turner, on the other hand, has shown more refined skills. Robinson averaged a career-high 9.7 points per game in 2019-2020. Turner’s worst career PPG output came when he recorded 10.3 during his rookie campaign in 2015-2016.

This superior level of production is no coincidence. While Turner is also a good rim-runner, he is also a threat as a floor spacer and shooter. In a modern NBA that places extreme value on spacing, Turner’s 35% career three-point percentage is a game-changer.

Not only could he establish himself as a force in the paint, but he can also draw defenders away from the basket to make room for drivers like Julius Randle and Derrick Rose.

He seems to be a match made in heaven.