Despite being the hottest team in the NBA right now, the Dallas Mavericks could still be looking to improve their roster. Most notably, an upgrade at center could be on the horizon.
Last week, it was reported that the Mavs had interest in signing former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a contract, but he ended up inking a deal with the Denver Nuggets.
Now, it appears as if they’re running due diligence on Indiana Pacers big, Myles Turner.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Dallas is among the teams that has expressed interest in trading for Turner. Additionally, the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets have shown some level of interest.
How much could Turner raise the Mavs’ ceiling?
The Pacers are in a tricky spot as we near the midway point in the season. On paper, they’ve got a ton of talent and should be competing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they sit at 15-25, which is the sixth worst record in the entire NBA.
Indiana doesn’t want to completely tear the roster down, but rather re-tool and continue to make a push for the postseason. As such, Pacers front office has shown a willingness to move off of Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert.
While it’s unlikely they trade all three of these guys, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or two of them gone before the deadline. With exactly one month until the trade deadline comes around, talks could start heading up soon.
The Mavericks will certainly have competition on the Turner market, but could also get into a bidding war with teams interested in other Pacers players. If Indiana wants to only move one of Turner and Sabonis, then that could make the market tougher for Dallas.
Either way, the Mavs are strapped for assets. Turner is a high-value big that could raise the ceiling for the Mavericks on both ends of the floor. It’s unclear exactly what it would take, but a package of players that could help the Pacers re-tool with some draft capital as sweetener would be the starting point.
He’s also on a very manageable contract, which is attractive for opposing teams.
On both ends of the floor, Turner is a special player.
Defensively, he’s an absolute monster in the paint as a rim protector. In fact, he’s one of the best interior defenders in the entire NBA. Turner has led the NBA in blocks in three of the last four seasons, including the current one. So far in the 2021-22 campaign, he’s blocked a league-high 112 shots.
Although the Dallas defense has been much improved of late, Turner could really cement the Mavs as a top defensive team in the league. He’d also bring them more consistency on that end of the floor.
On offense, Turner is streaky but still possesses a skill the Mavericks don’t currently have. He’s a true center that can stretch the floor. Dallas has a ton of bigs on the roster, but when it comes to playing the center position it’s either traditional centers or undersized forwards in the rotation.
Turner would give them a legitimate 7-footer that can space the floor. This would do wonders for guards like Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson, creating space inside for drives to the rim.
This season, Turner has knocked down 35.7% of his 4.4 3-point attempts per game. Not many guys his size are able to convert at that rate.
It won’t be easy, but if the Mavericks are able to acquire Myles Turner before the trade deadline, they could really make some noise in the postseason.