The Pacers are 1-8 in their last nine games which has pushed intriguing storylines surrounding the team off the court.
Constant trade rumors and speculation are now rampant since reports that the Pacers were willing to break up the Domas Sabonis and Myles Turner pairing, not to mention making Caris LeVert available. Continual losing will do that as the Pacers, or at least Herb Simon, who was adamant that they would not tank a couple of weeks ago.
Also, situations like we saw in the Pacers OT loss to Boston in which Myles Turner didn’t play (except for a brief D possession) in the fourth quarter and OT simply highlight the need to make a move. What the Pacers were doing with Turner on the bench was working at the time, mainly thanks to a monster game from Torey Craig, but the fact that at crunch time the team will chose one of the bigs (usually Sabonis) but not both to close a game, exposes the overdue need to move one.
What we’ve also learned is if you have a team that is not connected, it takes care of the tanking on its own. Since Sabonis has been playing at a high level despite the mess going on around him, much of the trade chatter has been around Myles Turner.
The latest nuggets include speculation from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connell that the Pacers are interested in a deal centered around Turner for Gordon Hayward. This certainly sounds familiar but it hard to see the Pacers bringing in Hayward at 31 for what would have to be Turner and possibly LeVert or another chunk of salary to get to Hayward’s current deal.
If the idea is to have a vet for the remaining two years while continuing to develop young talent then that seems feasible, but at this point going younger and bringing back picks is more appealing for the long term. The idea of Turner for OG Anunoby is intriguing and could bring more draft capital along with OG. Sabonis would surely sign off on this deal just so he doesn’t have to face OG as an opponent again.
For his part, Turner is not in a good place and took to social media with some odd Tweets. He eventually addressed the situation after practice on Thursday, as James Boyd reported.
“I just think that got blown way out of proportion for no reason,” Turner said. “ ... All I personally meant by that was I’m just not enjoying the losing aspect of this thing right now. We lost a very close game in Boston, a very winnable game. It was frustrating for me and frustrating for my camp. I have a lot of people that care about me, a lot of people that care about winning, a lot of people that care about this team, so that’s pretty much all that was.
“I hope we can just lay that to rest because I feel like people are trying (to say), ‘Oh, he wants out! Oh, he’s trying to get traded!’ and it’s none of that.”
Been here done this with Victor Oladipo and Paul George, and similar to those two, the thing that sticks out to me is “my camp” which includes those he has helping his social media presence. The problem is, the “camp” doesn't help in these situations and Turner would be better off lighting the money on fire that he pays his social media team because he is just highlighting how much it appears this team is out for itself and not the team as a whole and certainly killing his ROI overall.
It also doesn’t make it any easier to get traded if you are trying to force your trade value down when the Pacers are still (as long as they can live with the soft tank job in progress and it appears they can) dealing from a position of strength with several interested suitors.
For a little sunshine in your Pacers news...we always have Lance.
The air guitar strumming guard who takes special to different levels at the Fieldhouse was recently on The Jim Rome Show to talk about being back in the league and the love affair he has with local fans. Here are couple of clips:
Check out the links: