- Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner has been a long-rumored trade target of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Turner was asked on a podcast if the Lakers should trade for him, and he said they should take a “very hard” look before then listing his own skills.
- Turner also said he would enjoy playing in a bigger market with more exposure.
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner doesn’t sound against the idea of being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
While appearing on “The Woj Pod” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Turner was asked about the oft-discussed trade rumors between the Pacers and Lakers.
It has been reported that the Lakers and Pacers discussed a trade where the Lakers would send Russell Westbrook and their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Pacers in exchange for Turner and shooting guard Buddy Hield. It would be an all-in move by the Lakers to add shooting and rim protection and give the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo a shot at going deeper into the playoffs.
Turner was asked by Wojnarowski if the Lakers should go all-in by trading the two first-round picks (the only picks they can trade), and in an unusual move, Turner essentially endorsed it.
“We all know picks are so valuable in this league and someone like myself, I’m heading into the last year of my deal, you wanna make sure you’re getting your return for your assets,” Turner said. “If I’m the Lakers, I take a very hard look at this, with the position you’re in. I know what I can provide to a team — my leadership, my shot-blocking, my three-point ability, and just my ability to make plays out there on the floor — and I take a very long look at it.
“But as far as pulling the trigger — I get paid to shoot, not to make these calls, so I couldn’t answer that.”
Turner said he understood that the Pacers may trade him, as he approaches free agency — perhaps a hint that he doesn’t intend to re-sign with Indiana.
When Wojnarowski asked if Turner would enjoy all of the media and fan attention that comes with playing for the Lakers, Turner said yes.
“Just playing in a bigger market,” Turner said. “I just feel here in the Midwest we don’t get the love that we deserve — especially a blue-collar city like [Indianapolis], they love their basketball, they take a lot of pride in it. But it doesn’t get taken on a national level. We just played our only national TV game of the year a couple days ago on ESPN … You are under a microscope when you’re out there in the West. When you’re doing bad, you’re gonna hear about it. But when you’re doing great, you’re gonna get a lot of love, especially with the love that the Lakers get.”
Turner is in the final year of a four-year, $80 million contract and could be looking at a raise on his next deal. Over the last four years, only four other players besides Turner have had seasons where they averaged more than 1.5 made threes and 2.0 blocks per game.
The Athletic had reported that the Lakers opted not to make the Turner-Hield-Westbrook trade because there wasn’t consensus on it from their front office. With the Lakers beginning the season 1-5 — the last team in the league to get their first win — pressure will surely mount to reconsider the deal.
Even Turner would give it a long, hard look.