On Friday afternoon, The Athletic’s Shams Charania said out loud what seemed obvious behind the scenes with the Pacers, confirming that center Myles Turner and the Pacers front office are working on a potential new contract for Turner before the big man hits free agency after the season.
Turner started the season as one of the most likely players to be traded, a situation he leaned into at the time. But there’s no doubt, playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton altered Turner’s mindset regarding his situation in Indy and after changing agents it seemed like the Pacers would be among the teams Turner would (and should) want to play for going forward.
Turner may feel like he can make more than the Pacers can offer in an extension, which would be a gamble on his part for sure. But the Pacers have some advantages if they want to try to lock up Turner now, as Shams explained.
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.
The Pacers have until March 1 to get a deal done which is the deadline for any extensions to be completed between the deadline and June 30. Seems more likely, the Pacers deadline will the NBA trade deadline on February 9 since both sides should have a good idea what can be done as far as an extension. The Pacers certainly can’t end up letting Turner walk with nothing in return, which it appears they have not intention of doing.
The Pacers are expected to continue to have an open mindset regarding the trade market and are not ruling out anything as part of their direction. The Lakers and Raptors are among the teams that have shown interest in Turner in recent months, according to league sources.
As the season continues, the Myles Turner extension or trade has become the new Domas or Myles debate. Fortunately, Turner is playing his best, averaging around 17 points and 8 rebounds per game, so decisions and/or deals can be made not on potential or hopes but on Turner’s actual production on the court.