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Pacers draft prospects: A closer look at Myles Turner of Texas

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The Pacers offseason out of the playoffs ramps up the attention on the NBA draft and adding a player late in the lottery who can help put the Pacers back in the playoffs. Texas big man, Myles Turner is an intriguing talent with the upside of youth.

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Myles Turner is one of the leading candidates for the Pacers 11th pick in the draft. However, several questions still remain about his overall quality as a player and future asset to the Pacers organization. Here are three things that I see as questions and three things I see as strengths for the 6'11 big man who turned 19 last month.

Questions

  1. Mobility- mobility is one of the biggest questions for a Pacers big man. With Frank Vogel and the Pacers talking of implementing a smaller line up with a faster paced game, mobility is a huge key. With Roy struggling and not a very quick big man, does drafting a 19 year old big man who offers limited mobility a solid option? It is key to note scouts are mentioning his awkward running style which raises further questions about his mobility and the lift he offers to a team looking to speed things up.
  2. Weak Post Game- His post moves will need improvement as he primarily was seen as a jump shooting big man at Texas. Turner didn't seem to show a wide array of post skill and aggression and someone who can dominate the post. Seeing as Hibbert has been struggling to score in the paint, getting a solid post player could be a major asset to the team. Turners post game could easily be improved, but it does raise questions coming out of college with his slightly weaker post skills. Further, Turner has shown that he likes to settle for jumpers more than posting up, possible waving a white flag for a 6'11" draft choice, someone most people would like to see posting up, rather than taking turnaround post jumpers, fifteen footers, or free throw line jumpers.
  3. Jump Shooting- Turner settled for a lot of jump shots while at Texas. A lot of people like his form, release, and touch thinking he is a very solid jump shooter for a 6'11" guy. Turner averaged 45.5% shooting from the floor, however this was while only averaging 7.6 FGA's a game. Meaning he did make most of the shots taken, but those attempts were low. This leaves his jump shot with some questions.

Strengths

  1. Defense- On the defensive side of the ball, Turner was pretty solid all year around for Texas. Averaging a solid 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes, something that could provide a massive lift for the Pacers. Turner could provide a second rim protector, allowing other guys to take a few more risks knowing they have some to protect the rim. Turner also averaged 9.4 defensive rebounds a game along with the 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes. These numbers stack very well with highly touted prospects in the past few years such as: Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Karl Towns. That some elite company and positive news for the Pacers.
  2. Rebounding- Taking a look at his rebounding stats shows that Turner was an elite rebounder at Texas. Turner averaged 2.0 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes and on the defensive end averaged 9.4 defensive rebounds for 40 minutes. Looking at the Pacers, having another guy who can grab offensive and defensive rebounds is always huge. Hibbert averaged 7.1 rebounds a game and David West averaged 6.8 rebounds per game, these are pretty average numbers. Adding Turner provides another rebounding lift that could really help the Pacers on the glass.
  3. Size- Simply, Turner needs to put on some weight. He comes in at 242 lbs, not an extremely low number however his frame needs filling. If Turner wants to become an offensive threat, and defensive threat, he needs to put on weight to contend with other Centers and Power Forwards in the NBA. Not only does adding size help him on the defensive and offensive ends, size helps prolong his career as he will be able to take a greater beating with less injury risk. His size provides further questions on if he is a valuable asset to the Pacers, or not.