Since the 2019 offseason, the Boston Celtics have been active on the market searching for a defensive-minded big man who could fill the hole left by Al Horford in their frontcourt. They may have performed well even without a starting-caliber center from the regular season up to the second round of the 2020 Playoffs, but in their Eastern Conference Finals matchup against Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat, their major frontcourt weakness was exposed. To boost their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title next year, the Celtics are expected to be more aggressive in addressing the issues on their roster this fall.
One of the players that the Celtics could target on the trading block in the 2020 offseason is Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. In a recent article, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report suggested a deal between the Celtics and the Pacers that would send Turner to Boston and Gordon Hayward to his hometown Indiana. In the proposed scenario, the Celtics would be sending a trade package that includes Hayward, Vincent Poirier, and the No. 14 and No. 26 overall picks in the 2020 NBA Draft to the Pacers in exchange for Turner, Doug McDermott, and TJ Leaf.
Before pushing through with the trade, they would first need to convince Hayward to opt into the final year of his contract. Though it would cost them two first-rounders in the upcoming draft, the potential deal would make a lot of sense for the Celtics. Pincus believes that the acquisition of Turner would immediately address Boston’s need for size to improve their chances of conquering the Eastern Conference next season.
“Boston would get the size in Turner to better compete in the East on a contract worth $18 million a year through 2022-23. The Celtics improve their depth, get under the luxury tax and open a roster spot for Green or a veteran on a minimum contract. The Turner notion would require the Pacers’ participation, but if not, it’s the kind of move Ainge and the Celtics could try to make should Hayward opt in.”
Turner wouldn’t just give the Celtics a defensive-minded center but also the type of big man who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. This season, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from the three-point range, per ESPN. Sharing the court with a floor-spacing big man like Turner would be beneficial for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as it would make it easier for them to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.
Meanwhile, the suggested trade would also be beneficial for the Pacers. Aside from solving the logjam in their frontcourt, it would allow them to acquire a potential replacement for Victor Oladipo in the wing in Hayward and two first-round selections that they could use to add more young and promising talents to their roster.