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Pacers Trading Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis?

Pacers Trading Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis?

The Indiana Pacers are entering a very important offseason.

After being swept in the playoffs three times in four years, the organization opted to part ways with head coach Nate McMillan.

Keeping or getting rid of McMillian was one of the two big decisions that needed to be made sooner rather than later by Indiana brass.

The second? Whether to trade away Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Recently, Adam Friedman and Tony East discussed this very matter on the Locked on Pacers podcast.

“One of Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis will be traded by Indiana this offseason, and if they’re not that is a travesty for the franchise,” Friedman said.

“Will?” East asked. “One will be traded?”

At that point, Friedman made his case.

“One of them will be traded,” he said.

“How could they not be? Tell me in what world, when they say ‘we want to go in a different direction and build this kind of new offense’, they then keep both players. In what world would they do that?

“I mean, if McMillan’s the Pacers coach, of course they’re bringing the same guys back and rolling it back. But they clearly want to make a change going in another direction, and you can’t do that with two centers, you just can’t.”

Sabonis and Turner bring two distinct sets of skills to the table.

The latter is the superior defender, capable of taking on opposing forwards and centers due to his speed, size and versatility.

The former is objectively better offensively, but lacks the lateral speed necessary to guard anyone but opposing centers. And even in those scenarios he is only adequate.

Because Sabonis is coming off an All-Star campaign and was clearly the team’s best player for most of the year, it is tough to see a scenario where he is the one that gets moved.

The only way that could really happen is if the new head coach, whomever that is, feels like Turner’s style jives more with the gameplan going forward.

More likely than not, Turner will be the one who gets dealt.

If that happens, a couple of destinations would make sense for him.

The Houston Rockets need some size now that Mike D’Antoni is gone and has taken his brand of small ball with him. Turner is a 36 percent career three-point shooter and started taking four threes per game last year. He’d shore up some defensive weaknesses for James Harden and Co., while still doing what they need from him on offense.

The New Orleans Pelicans would also make a lot of sense for Turner. He wouldn’t need to take up space in the paint offensively, freeing Zion Williamson to do work, all the while filling in the gaps on the other side of the floor to ensure New Orleans’ prized young star doesn’t get into foul trouble trying to protect the rim.

All in all, if the Pacers decide to trade Turner – they’ll be able to get a decent haul for him. He is only 24, already an excellent rim protector and will only continue to improve offensively.

At this point it will all just come down to who the next head coach is. If it’s D’Antoni, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see him attempt to give the Turner-Sabonis pairing one more shot.

If it is literally anyone else, Turner is likely on the move.

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Anthony Amador

A recent graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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