Fans and players alike are expecting a big offseason from the New York Knicks, whose future is looking bright after making their first playoff appearance since 2012-2013.
With all of Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and RJ Barrett in-house, the team’s foundation is finally looking like that of a competitive club, even if only around the edges.
Still, no one’s arguing that the Knicks need a true star power to elevate them into that next tier, but the upcoming free agency market isn’t necessarily brimming with players of that caliber.
And with New York projected to be operating with north of $55-million in cap space, a splurge is inevitable.
Yet even with point guard (still) the team’s biggest position of need, one recent report has tied the Knicks to Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, who lead the league in blocks this season.
Myles Turner to New York?
After firing head coach Nate Bjorkgren after just one season with the team, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star reported on Wednesday, that the Indiana Pacers could end up dealing starting center Myles Turner this offseason.
Among many an interested party, he mentioned the New York Knicks as a team with confirmed interest:
Charlotte has been interested Turner, who they passed on drafting in 2015 to take Frank Kaminsky instead, and there are others such as the Knicks and L.A. Lakers have made their interest in the 6-11 shot-blocker known for more than a year.
Turner is coming off of his sixth career season, all with Indiana, where he averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and a league-high 3.4 blocks per game.
He missed the final 16 games of the season with a toe injury, and suggested later in his exit interview (via Sports Illustrated) that he’s still on the road to recovery:
I think that it’s something I’m going to have to take my time with. It’s an unfortunate injury because you use your big toe for everything. It just has to heal. There’s no surgery. There’s no magic pill I can take. It’s just time.
Regardless, the expectation is that he’ll be ready to go by training camp, meaning he’s a viable trade target for all the aforementioned, interested teams.
Trading for Turner also means he won’t be on the other side of the floor against the Knicks, where he’s seen some success.
Fans no doubt remember his eight-block performance from the season opener.
Mitchell Robinson’s Future is Up in Air
Any reporting or rumors tying the New York Knicks to centers ahead of this offseason, have to also be read through the lens of Mitchell Robinson’s future.
The third-year big man suffered two different foot injuries this season, playing just 29 games for the team all year.
He was still his dominant self though, with averages of 8.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game.
But with extension talks looming, is New York prematurely eyeing his replacement in the starting spot?
Robinson and mid-season signee Norvel Pelle represent the only centers under contract for next season, with both Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson headed for free agency. So it’s likely they’ll bring in at least one more big.
Acquiring Turner would have to be done via trade, but don’t expect this front office to shy away from wheeling and dealing under the right circumstance.
New York has five first-round picks over the next three drafts, and will be among the league leaders in cap space this summer.
Meaning that if the Knicks see Turner as a fit, and the Pacers are willing to part ways with him, a deal between the two teams isn’t necessarily a tall order.
The only question is how far teams like the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers are willing to go in acquiring him for themselves.