The Knicks acquisition of Cam Reddish underscored the numerous possibilities the team will have at the upcoming February 10th trade deadline, with Pacers Center Myles Turner as a rumored target.
However, this week should throw some cold water on any Turner to the Knicks chatter.
Hoops Hype reported that the pacers want “two first round picks” or “a promising player and a first round pick.”
Then, on Tuesday it was announced that Turner will be out at least until after the deadline with a stress reaction in his foot. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, but it looks like the former Texas big man isn’t coming back anytime soon.
Putting aside the injury momentarily, New York clearly has the goods to acquire Turner. Despite dealing the protected Charlotte first to Atlanta, they hold all of their future firsts including Dallas’ next year. They also have plenty of second-rounders to sweeten any deal.
And needless to say, New York has plenty of Promising Young Players: Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, and Deuce McBride.
The Promising Young Player that would have been most realistic in a Turner swap is Obi Toppin. (A full discussion of Toppin’s place on the Knicks and trade value is a topic for another day.)
A Toppin for Turner trade had its merits, as Turner’s versatility on both ends of the court is hard to find in New York’s current roster construction.
But with Turner’s injury, it’s a non-starter for the Knicks.
Turner is due for a payday, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after next season, expecting a raise from his current 17.5mm salary.
The Knicks know plenty about having injured big men, and will not pay a premium to add another one to the roster.
While Turner’s ability to guard the perimeter and shoot from three make him a decidedly more complete player than Mitchell Robinson, Mitch’s recent play makes an upgrade at Center not nearly as urgent as New York’s other needs.
In 2022, Robinson is averaging 11.7 PPG and 8.6 RPG while shooting an eye-popping 85% from the field.
And perhaps best of all, his exchange with NY Post beat reporter Marc Berman:
Mitch is playing himself into an extension, which New York was justifiably hesitant about this previous offseason.
A deal could look similar to Robert Williams’ extension with the Celtics, at 4 years and $54mm.
Any Robinson contract won’t break the bank, and should be an easily movable deal for New York if they ever need to go that route.
The Pacers really value Turner, but could the Knicks get them to bite at a discounted deal headlined by Kemba Walker, Nerlnes Noel, and a pick? Leon Rose and company would be showing off if they could get Turner for change. But don’t hold your breath.
It would be uncharacteristic for Indiana to move on from him while his value is at its lowest. And while there’s a greater than zero percent chance Turner is eventually a Knick, it won’t be this season.
New York’s front office continues to show patience.
With Turner, it won’t be any different.