Turner, however, is not the featured player — his per game scoring average is down to 12.4 a night (fifth in scoring on the team), and his shot attempts and rebounds per game also are down. Turner also wanted to establish himself as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate this season, something that has yet to happen.
Which has other teams calling, seeing if Turner is available at the trade deadline, reports Zach Lowe at ESPN. Those teams are being shot down, for now.
The question is whether Turner is content with this arrangement. The team belongs to Sabonis and Brogdon now. Turner jacks 16 shots per 36 minutes in his solo time, but just nine when he plays with Sabonis, per NBA.com. Turner’s counting stats are down. Indiana has struggled in Turner-only minutes — especially on the glass, where Turner remains unreliable.
The Pacers continue to turn away teams who inquire about Turner, sources say. They are good, and they want to see how things look when Victor Oladipo returns. But every team in need of a big man should keep an eye on Turner.
There are a lot of teams looking for a reliable big man (see all the interest in Andre Drummond). Turner also has a fair contract with three more seasons at $18 million remaining after this one, which will draw teams to him.
This feels like the kind of deal that gets done in the summer. Right now, the Pacers aren’t sure what they have or look like until Oladipo returns (Jan. 29 is the target day, just a week before the trade deadline). Indiana may take the roster is has now into the playoffs, then make changes around the draft or into the summer.
Just don’t expect the Turner trade rumors to go away.