Streaking Nets Named Top Landing Spot for $80 Million Elite Rim Protector

Sean Marks

Getty Sean Marks answers questions during a 2016 press conference at Barclays Center.

After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last game, the Brooklyn Nets have erased any doubt that they are legit contenders for this year’s NBA title. With Kevin Durant playing at an MVP level and Kyrie Irving among the top scorers in the fourth quarter this season, the sky is the limit for this Nets squad.

However, some Nets fans still believe that despite having the league’s longest active win streak, Brooklyn is still a player away from being mentioned among the NBA’s elite. With the February NBA trade deadline just a little over a month away, time is running out for the Nets to make a move. David Vertsberger of Yahoo Sports thinks that Indiana Pacers star and two-time NBA blocks leader Myles Turner is a player who should be on the Nets’ radar.

“Turner is one of the rumor mill’s most popular names of late. Although, he may not be as available as it seems with Indiana outperforming their expectations,” Vertsberger writes via Yahoo Sports.

“Should he be acquirable, however, the Nets should certainly get themselves involved in the sweepstakes. A package of Harris and an undisclosed amount of draft picks could be enough to get a deal done.”

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Myles Turner Would Add New Wrinkle to Nets Offense

Nets big man Nic Claxton has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the NBA this season. He is not only making a strong case as a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, but with his career-high 2.3 blocks per game, he is campaigning for the Defensive Player of the Year award as well.

But Turner would add new wrinkles to the Nets’ offense at the center position that Claxton cannot. The Pacers star is shooting a scorching 41.7% from beyond the arc while Claxton has yet to even attempt a three-pointer this season. In addition, Claxton’s 45.9% from the charity stripe leaves a lot to be desired compared to Turner’s 77% from the line.

“Few bigs in the league can bring lineups both spacing and rim protection at strong levels, but Turner manages to do so. He’s shooting 41.7 percent from deep and averages two blocks per game, which are skills Brooklyn would happily bring on board,” Vertsberger adds.

“As mentioned though, the Pacers may instead decide to hang onto Turner and lock him in for a long-term deal. While the 26-year-old is certainly an enticing piece, Brooklyn shouldn’t get too crazy with their trade offers.”

Myles Turner, Pacers Begin Contract Extension Talks

The irony of the trade chatter surrounding Turner is that he may not be available for trade. Initially, it seemed like the Pacers were headed toward a rebuild after trading All-Star center Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings at last year’s trade deadline and shipping Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics during the offseason.

But in an unexpected turn of events, the Pacers have a record of 17-17 and are currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Not only have the Pacers shifted their attention away from trading Turner, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, they have already begun talks surrounding a contract extension.

“The Indiana Pacers and center Myles Turner have opened up contract extension discussions and are exploring a potential new deal, league sources with direct knowledge of the discussions who are unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter tell The Athletic,” Charania writes per The Athletic.

“The Pacers have the ability to reach a renegotiation and extension with Turner due to currently having roughly $25 million in salary cap space. The Pacers can offer Turner up to $19.1 million more this year on top of his $18 million salary to get him to his individual max of $37.1 million for the 2022-23 season alone, and then drop his salary in the following seasons of a potential new contract. Pacers officials have discussed the renegotiation-and-extension framework with Turner’s agent, Austin Brown of CAA Sports, sources said.”

It will be interesting to see what moves Nets general manager Sean Marks makes before the trade deadline.