Lakers Interested in Deadline Play for Star Big Man: Report

Myles Turner Pacers v Lakers

Getty Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner celebrates during a game against the LA Lakers.

After slogging through what might have been the nadir of their campaign in mid-to-late December, the Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly cruising. Since Frank Vogel moved LeBron James to the starting center spot — in lieu of a traditional big — on New Year’s Eve, the team has won four of its last five contests.

During that stretch, Los Angeles has boasted the best offense in the Association, putting up 122.7 points per 100 possessions.

While things are definitely trending in a positive direction, the fact remains that the Lakers are a flawed team with an old roster; one with holes that will inevitably prevent it from being the contender many expected to see coming into the 2021-22 season.

So, with the NBA trade deadline fast approaching, GM Rob Pelinka will no doubt be working the phones in search of upgrades. And while the Lakers face challenges as relates to deal-making, one league insider says they’re nonetheless among the clubs holding interest in one of the top names on the market.


Shams: Lakers Have Interest in Pacers Star


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On Monday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania dropped a plus-sized serving of trade intel from around the Association. In the piece, he broke down the list of teams that are considering making a play for big man Myles Turner.

At the top, Charania namechecked the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks as teams that are exploring trades for the Pacers star. However, he also mentioned two other teams as having “a level of interest” — the Charlotte Hornets and the LA Lakers.

While the Lakers would have a tough time acquiring Turner — it would almost certainly require other teams getting involved in a deal — there’s no doubt he’d be a tremendous get for Pelinka, the team’s recent small-ball success notwithstanding.

In any case, it seems like a good bet that the Pacers are at least listening to offers for Turner. In early December, The Athletic reported that the team was considering a hard turn toward rebuilding. Moreover, it was said that Indy was “receptive” to potentially moving Turner, All-Star Domantas Sabonis and/or standout guard Caris LeVert.

Although owner Herb Simon later indicated that he wasn’t keen on a rebuild, it’s likely the best course of action for a Pacers team that is currently 15-25 on the season and has won just three playoff games in the last five years.

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What Turner Brings

For much of the year, Vogel — and many of his players — have come down hard on the club’s defensive effort. They’re not wrong, either. However, until very recently, the team has been even worse offensively, especially where stretching the floor is concerned.

For his part, Turner could help LA on both fronts.

As of this writing, the 25-year-old is on pace to finish as the league leader in blocks per game for the third time in four seasons (at 2.9 per contest). With that level of rim protection, the Lakers’ perimeter defenders could afford to take more chances. And Turner would be able to clean up a lot of their mistakes as well.

Offensively, Turner would have incredible gravity near the basket and as a roll man, which, in theory, would open things up a bit from behind the arc. And the big man could help space the floor as well. In 39 games this season, he’s averaging 13.1 points and knocking down 35.7% of his 4.4 long-range attempts per contest.

Again, though, the Lakers will have a tough time putting together a competitive offer without some help. They’re exceedingly light on desirable draft and trade assets and limited by their cap situation to boot.

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