The Suns decided to keep DeAndre Ayton, derailing the plans of the Pacers. If that ruffled the feathers of Myles Turner, Indiana may have to make a trade.
In what was a surprisingly fast-paced process with the NBA frozen from Kevin Durant/Kyrie Irving/Donovan Mitchell trade anxiety, the DeAndre Ayton free agency saga concluded with the Phoenix Suns matching the four-year, $133 million offer sheet of the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. The Pacers made roster moves to open up the max contract slot and appeared to be calling the bluff of the Suns, who had a falling out with Ayton over the last year.
Phoenix chose to keep their disgruntled 23-year-old center, who was a restricted free agent, and now the Pacers have to look to a plan B. Perhaps that is simply for them to welcome their own potentially unhappy big Myles Turner back to the fold and re-sign him. Turner is entering the final year of his four-year $70 million extension he signed back in 2018, and the Pacers appear ready to go in a different direction. In the absence of a trade partner, however, Indiana may be stuck with an awkward conversation and a potentially departing free agent center.
Where could the Pacers look if they have to trade Myles Turner?
It doesn’t have to be that way, however — the Pacers should be able to find a suitable spot for Turner should they choose to pursue that option. Three teams in particular can provide Indiana a player not necessarily as good and/or young as Ayton, but comparable in terms of what he brings to the table in addition to young players or other assets.