As the trade deadline gets nearer, the Los Angeles Lakers are getting linked to more and more names. Many reports have indicated that the team is looking to add an athletic center. Andre Drummond appears to be the top target but the Lakers are looking at plenty of other options in case he goes elsewhere.
According to J. Michael of the IndyStar, Los Angeles is adding Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner to the list of bigs they’re interested in.
“The New York Knicks, L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans are among those who have explored whether the Pacers are willing to part with the league’s leading shot-blocker, league sources tell IndyStar,” wrote Michael.
Turner would be a very interesting addition as he’s only 24-years old. The former first-round pick is a productive player on both sides of the floor. In 2019, he led the NBA in blocked shots. He also averages 12.8 points a game over his career. If the Lakers want an athletic big, they could certainly do worse than Turner.
He is also a willing perimeter shooter, attempting 4.5 3-pointers per game. But he is having a rough time from the arc, making only 31.3% this season.
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Pacers Aren’t Actively Shopping Turner
While it’s easy to see why the Lakers would like to add Turner, there could be some obstacles. According to Michael, the team isn’t actively shopping the big man.
“If there’s a move to be made, league sources tell IndyStar, the Pacers aren’t shopping Turner,” Michael wrote. “Understand, however, the trade market can change on a dime. When they shipped Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets two months ago for LeVert, that kind of deal wasn’t there before the season tipped.”
Indiana is the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference so they aren’t completely out of the playoff race. It’s highly unlikely that Turner ends up getting bought out after the trade deadline. If that’s the case, the only way he gets moved is in a trade. The Lakers aren’t well-positioned to pull off a trade. It’s doubtful they would want to trade Montrezl Harrell for Turner, especially since the reigning Sixth Man of the Year has been balling out since the All-Star break ended. He’s averaging 22 points a game over the last two games.
Lakers Shouldn’t Trade Harrell
If the Lakers plan to make a trade for a big, Harrell will likely have to be a part of it. However, that would be a mistake. Though he is undersized as a center, he brings a lot of toughness to the team and is a very good scorer. He’s got some big deficiencies on defense when the Lakers are playing teams with tall centers but he still can score with the best of them.
Los Angeles will more than likely sit out the trade deadline. They’re going to do their due diligence and see who is available but there’s no reason to make a trade if they don’t need to. In a perfect world, the buyout market will be filled with athletic bigs for the Lakers to chose from.