Sitting at 7-10 with several quality wins under their belt, the Oklahoma City Thunder have already proven they’re on the up-and-up.
But with no real path towards contention this season, general manager Sam Presti is likely looking, at least one more time, towards the NBA Draft to improve the team. And for that reason, continuing to lean on young player development is the current strategy for OKC.
That’s where Indiana center Myles Turner factors in.
With a waning defense that started off hot, Oklahoma City is in dire need of an interior upgrade. While no. 2 overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren will be inserted into the lineup next year, he may function better as a roving, shot-blocking power forward. Turner, at 6-foot-11, could offer OKC an extremely versatile list of lineups to move forward with for the foreseeable future.
Turner has long been thought of as a trade candidate for Indiana, yet they’ve never pulled the trigger. Likely because of his value to the organization. Averaging 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game this season, he’s a legitimate asset.
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But if Indiana is truly looking to reset, and more importantly, join the hunt for future No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, they’ll need to offload some pieces.
Oklahoma City Thunder get: Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers get: 2024 Jazz First Round Selection, 2025 Miami Heat First Round Selection, 2025 Sixers Second Round Selection
While the Pacers would rather have one great first, two solid selections could pique their interest. Having multiple first rounders added onto their arsenal gives them flexibility down the line, whether they want to consolidate to move forward in drafts, select solid pieces like they did Andrew Nembhard, or throw them at other teams when they’re ready to press the ‘Go’ button.
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