The Indiana Pacers made waves in the offseason bringing back Rick Carlisle as their head coach. Despite this major hire, the Pacers are trending in the wrong direction with a disappointing 12-16 record. Although far from the worst team in the East, the Pacers find themselves locked in the prison of perpetual mediocrity. To that end, the Pacers organization recently decided to hit the reset button. Veterans such as Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Malcom Brogdon now find themselves on the trading block.
Although the Bucks have little need for Sabonis or Brogdon, many fans expressed excitement at the prospect of trading for Turner. A trade for Turner would make sense. The Bucks lack depth at center with Lopez out indefinitely as he recovers from back surgery. Turner could be a valuable addition to the team. Despite this, there is almost no chance Myles Turner will end up in Milwaukee before the trade deadline. Here are three reasons why.
The Bucks Have Nothing to Offer the Pacers
Teams in the midst of a hard reset want two things: draft picks (especially 1st round draft picks) and rookies early in their rookie contracts. The Bucks have neither of these in sufficient numbers for a player like Turner. Jordan Nwora is in a contract year, as is Donte DiVincenzo. Although Nwora could be part of a larger trade package at some point in the season, said package would have to include veterans (which Indiana is not interested in). Donte DiVincenzo is in a similar position. He might be part of a larger trade package, but his relative value is difficult to determine. DiVincenzo will play his first game since May on Wednesday. Nobody knows how he’ll look post-injury.
The Bucks are also thin on draft picks. Due to the Jrue Holiday trade in the 2020 offseason, the Pelicans own many of Milwaukee’s future 1st round draft picks. They also have the right to “swap” with Milwaukee in the first round, depending on where each team falls on the draft. For a team that’s attempting to rebuild, the risk of losing a higher pick to New Orleans presents a significant problem.
Ultimately, the Bucks are in their championship window. Fortunately, the moves Horst made prior to the 2020-21 season ultimately paid off. Regardless, this means Milwaukee already traded away most of its assets that would interest a team like Indiana.
Myles Turner Himself
Myles Turner recently expressed frustration over his current situation in Indiana. Regarding his role with the Pacers, Turner said on record that,
“It’s clear that I’m not valued as anything more than a glorified role player here, and I want something more, more opportunity.“
Although one can sympathize with Turner’s frustrations, he would remain little more than a role player on the Milwaukee Bucks. Turner is an excellent player, especially on defense. Despite that, he does not provide the same all around package the Bucks get with Bobby Portis as the starting center.
Ultimately, Turner could change his tune playing for a winning team like the Bucks. Despite that, the Bucks are more interested in players willing to serve as role players. The fact that Turner openly expressed disdain for that job would likely sour the Bucks on trading for him. If Turner wants to be more than a role player, he won’t do it in a Bucks uniform.
Bucks Have Other (Less Expensive) Options
Despite the potential upsides of trading for Turner, the Bucks have other potential options that wouldn’t cost them as much. The Bucks already picked up DeMarcus Cousins on a non-guaranteed deal. Another relatively cheap option the Bucks could target is Luke Kornet, who currently plays for Boston’s G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics. Although it’s impossible to argue Kornet is on the same level as Turner, he would be an easy fit into Milwaukee’s system.
Luke Kornet is a floor spacing, shot blocking big (albeit far from elite in either role). In other words, he is a poor man’s Brook Lopez. As a G League player, Kornet would be more motivated to accept being a role player if it means being on a NBA roster again. Moreover (and perhaps most importantly), the Bucks could grab him for cheap. Ultimately, Kornet provides several potential upsides with very minimal risk.
Another option the Bucks could explore is signing Bismack Biyombo on a veteran minimum deal. Biyombo has few upsides offensively, but he’s a strong shot blocker and decent rebounder. As a purely defensive role player, Biyombo could be useful for the Bucks. The biggest problem with Biyombo is his lack of offensive prowess as he has bad hands around the rim and no jumper. That makes it doubtful he could fit in Mike Budenholzer’s offense.
Regardless, there are several cheaper alternatives the Bucks can explore if necessary. Ultimately, Bobby Portis has shown he’s more than capable of serving as Milwaukee’s starting center in Brook’s absence. Although DeMarcus Cousins has been hit and miss since joining the team, it’s far too early to determine his overall value. The Bucks should not feel too much pressure to make a major trade for a new center.
Myles Turner is a solid player and I can’t blame Bucks fans for wanting him. Regardless, there’s little possibility it will happen. The Pacers are a team in a hard reset and Milwaukee has very little to offer a team in that position, especially for a player like Turner. Regardless, the Bucks have other possibilities they could explore if necessary. I fully expect that the Bucks will make a major trade at some point before the deadline, but it won’t be for Turner.