Proposed Trade Gives Bulls Defense a Seismic Boost With Elite Shot-Blocker

Myles Turner Bulls-Pacers

Getty Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner attempts to control the basketball during a game against the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls may not be getting the love some fans expected after the team, which was No. 1 in the East last season before injuries hit, retained its key players and added a pair of win-now vets in Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond this offseason.

Make no mistake, though, Billy Donovan’s squad has the potential to make a big-time splash next season if everything goes according to plan.

Having said that, the Bulls definitely have some areas in need of improvement, even in a world where Lonzo Ball’s knee heals up and everyone is healthy and performing. Particularly on the defensive end, where they coughed up 113.2 points per 100 possessions, a bottom-eight mark league-wide.

In an effort to address the Bulls’ defensive shortfall while boosting their star power and, in theory, giving them a better chance of getting back to the top, one analyst just pitched a trade netting an elite-level shot-blocker with floor-spacing capabilities.

B/R Floats Big Myles Turner Trade

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Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley recently put out a list of trade pitches for every team in the Association with the aim of improving their starting lineups. This is what he came up with for the Bulls:

  • Indiana Pacers receive C Nikola Vucevic and a future first-round pick (top-five protected)
  • Chicago Bulls receive C Myles Turner

“In a vacuum, you could have some spirited debates about whether Vucevic or Turner is a better NBA player,” Buckley wrote, and he’s not wrong, either. After all, the Bulls center is a two-time All-Star and more of a go-to scoring option than Turner.

And, as noted by’s Brian Mazique, he actually led last year’s squad in B-Ball Index’s LEBRON metric.

However, Turner’s interior defense is on another level, and rim protection has been a major bugbear for Chicago.

Buckley points out that the Bulls allowed the third-most field goals league-wide inside the restricted area of the paint, adding that Turner “could immediately bandage up that interior bleeding” as a two-time league shot-blocking champ.

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Turner at a Glance

Although Turner’s season was cut short by a stress reaction in his left foot, there’s hope he’ll be able to bounce back as strong as ever next season. Before the injury occurred, he was humming right along, too, averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per contest.

Moreover, opposing players’ field goal percentages suffered by an average of 8.7% on shots attempted within six feet of the hoop when Turner was the closest defender. And Indy was 6.8 points per 100 possessions better defensively when he was on the court.

On the other end, he’s a career 35% three-point shooter who also has the ability to get to the rim and finish with authority; a skill set that should fit right in with the Bulls’ current crew.

At 26 years old, he’s someone who can potentially be a long-term, cornerstone piece for the Bulls as well (while Vucevic is on the wrong side of 30).


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