The New York Knicks are coming off a disappointing blowout defeat against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, but they received a splendid audition from big man Myles Turner, who posted 22 points in the victory.
The Knicks have struggled considerably on defense this season, despite both of their centers being known for blocking and defensive rebounding. Nonetheless, Tom Thibodeauâ€™s squad ranks 24th in defensive rating at 110.7. Their interior defense has been decent, but they were completely dominated by Turner and Domantas Sabonis on Wednesday, who finished with 21 points.
Turner has been linked with New York in the past, notably, this past off-season as the Knicks looked to increase their scoring production at the center position. Unfortunately, they were unable to secure his services via trade with Indiana, but Leon Rose could be active at the deadline in the coming months looking to acquire a big man with scoring production.
Simply put, neither Nerlens Noel nor Mitchell Robinson are capable of posting double-digit points regularly, and Turner brings another element to the team.
This season, Turner is earning $17.5 million in base salary and will make the same amount during the 20 22â€“2023 season. Investing in his services would do the Knicks well, injecting a defensive maestro into their starting unit with elite scoring production from the center position. The former first-round pick from 2015 is averaging 12.6 points per game on 39.5% shooting from three-point range and 52.6% shooting from the field. Heâ€™s also posting 2.8 blocks per game and 7.5 rebounds.
In the month of November, Turner posted 11 games with double-digit scoring production and just four games with single-digit points. He shot 42% from three-point range and posted 42 total blocks, including four games with 4+.
To acquire Turner via trade, Rose will have to part ways with a few talented pieces. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Pacers are moving toward a rebuild and will listen to potential trade offers regarding Caris LeVert, Sabonis, and Turner.
In a potential deal, they would likely have to part ways with Mitchell Robinson and a first-round pick. Emptying Kemba Walker and Kevin Knox in the deal would be ideal, but the Pacers will want more than just a few castaways and fringe starters. They may look to acquire a young player like Obi Toppin or Immanuel Quickley, who the Knicks would prefer to retain. However, Turner makes them a significantly better team and more competitive in the paint, which is a step in the right direction. Given his expensive contract, it’s always possible Indiana is looking for a team to take on his salary, which could drive down his price tag. However, most consider him a valuable asset on both sides of the ball, so he won’t be a cheap target.