According to Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, the Indiana Pacers are inching closer towards a rebuild. In turn, they are open to fielding offers for Caris LeVert, Myles Turner, and/or Domantas Sabonis. The latter two of those players should be of particular interest to the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets are a team in desperate need of an interior presence. Mason Plumlee has been serviceable this season, but for a team that is nearly dead-last in defensive rating, a change might be necessary. This is where the idea of Turner comes into play.
Turner leads the league in blocks right now, averaging 2.8 per game. What’s even better is that his elite defensive abilities are paired with a solid offensive game as well. Turner is averaging 12.6 points this season while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from deep - both of which would be career-highs.
The Hornets take (and make) a lot of threes, so adding a center who can defend and stretch the floor would be ideal. Turner has been a name that Hornets fans have thrown around for a long time, and it’s not hard to see why. The big man seems like the ideal fit to play alongside LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. The real question is, what would the Pacers want in return for Turner?
Here’s an example of a potential deal for Turner:
- Hornets receive: Myles Turner
- Pacers receive: Mason Plumlee, James Bouknight, Ish Smith, 2022 First-Round Pick (via NOP)
Giving up James Bouknight might pain Hornets fans, especially after his play recently, but it takes assets to get assets. The Pacers are likely going to want one of Charlotte’s young players in this deal. Bouknight is the most promising outside of PJ Washington, Bridges, and the main core. Realistically, it’s either Washington or Bouknight, and right now, Bouknight would be the odd man out.
While a Gordon Hayward trade would intrigue most Hornets fans right now, Indiana likely would not be interested anymore. If they are attempting to kickstart a rebuild, as the reports indicate, why would they trade for an aging Hayward with multiple years left on his contract? They want young players and picks in return, so that’s what the Hornets would have to give up.
A trade for Sabonis would be interesting as well, and the package would probably look quite similar, but Turner seems like the better fit in Charlotte.
Now, it’s all about whether or not Mitch Kupchak thinks a Turner trade is possible. Can the Hornets give the Pacers the best offer out of any team? Only time will tell. But maybe, just maybe, Hornets fans might finally see their wish come true of Turner donning the teal and white.