In Zach Lowe’s recent article about the winners and losers in the NBA over the past week, he was talking about the Indiana Pacers and what they’ve done during free agency thus far. He mentioned how they lost Bojan Bogdanovic, but added pieces such as Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren, and Jeremy Lamb.
He lastly discussed how the Pacers have both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis and how they still have a hole at the forward position. He says that the Pacers can easily add a wing player to their roster if they trade one of their two bigs. A team that he believes should be monitored as a trade partner? The Boston Celtics.
The Pacers are still one rotation guy short, and the gaping hole is at forward. They could fill it down the line by trading Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis for a wing. For now, the Pacers are all-in playing their two bigs together. The results improved last season, in limited minutes. It is a really nice NBA subplot that both Turner and Sabonis want it to work — that neither sees the other as a threat.
Top big wings rarely become available. They are the most valuable player type in the NBA. Most realistic deals for one amount to Indiana selling low on Sabonis or Turner. One natural trade match to monitor: Boston, with three such players in Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward (and Marcus Smart can play up a position or two) and a shortage of proven bigs.
Like Zach Lowe mentioned above, the Celtics still have a shortage of proven bigs. The Celtics have a collection of bigs who provide different skills when they’re on the basketball court, but Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis can impact the game much better than the big men the Celtics have now.
Myles Turner is coming off one of his best seasons to date, where he averaged a little over 13 points, 7 rebounds, and nearly 3 blocks per game. He shot almost 49% from the field and 39% from three, all in under 29 minutes a game. Myles Turner would fit in Brad Stevens’ system perfectly.
Domantas Sabonis is coming off the best year of his career, where he averaged about 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He shot 59% (!!!) from the field, 53% from three (0.2 shots per game), and came off the bench for 69 out of his 74 games played this past season. He was a finalist for the Sixth Man of the Year award, too.
What would it cost to get a player like Turner or Sabonis on the Celtics? The Pacers are looking for a wing, so either Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward would be an option. I don’t think Danny Ainge would part with Brown for Turner or Sabonis, but Hayward could be on the table if the Pacers would want his contract in return and believe he can return to being anything like his former self.
The Celtics could put together a package with Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, Romeo Langford, and a few picks, but this wouldn’t be able to happen until December since we just signed Kanter.
My guess is Danny Ainge would try to sell them Gordon Hayward and a few draft picks, but that’s about it. It wouldn’t shock me if Danny tried to steal T.J. Warren from Indiana for more bench scoring, too.
This is just something to monitor. Nothing can come from this, but both teams can benefit from making a trade with each other. It’ll be interesting to see if Danny Ainge tries to target another big man before the season starts.
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