When Danny Ainge traded away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, it was expected a flurry of trades would follow, likely including former Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson. Except no deal came, Clarkson got off to a hot start to the season, and suddenly the Jazz were talking contract extension with Clarkson, not trade.
Things are similar with the Pacers’ Myles Turner. He has been in the middle of trade rumors for a year but was never dealt, and he is having the best season of his career (16.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks a game), sparking interest in the Pacers in extending Turner’s deal.
Except neither Turner nor Clarkson seem interested in an extension, reports Mark Stein in his latest newsletter.
Myles Turner, to this point, has rebuffed Indiana’s contract extension offers, league sources say. Ditto for Jordan Clarkson in Utah, where sources say the Jazz came into the season hopeful of securing a new long-term deal with Clarkson before he becomes a free agent this summer. There are teams out there naturally hoping that Turner or Clarkson (or both) will be in play for trades before the deadline. I don’t see the Jazz trading Clarkson; Turner’s situation continues to be harder to read.
Whether the Jazz or Pacers should look at trades for Clarkson and Turner comes down to one question: Can they re-sign the player this summer?
Because the Pacers are $24.4 million under the salary cap, they can do a re-negotiation and extension with Turner, who is making $18 million this season. The Pacers could bump him up to $37 million for this season then work out an extension off that number (likely for a little more than $20 million a season). However, there have been rumblings around the league that Turner has eyes toward a bigger market and brighter spotlight than he plays in now in Indiana.
If the Pacers think he bolts for that market this summer, they have to consider a trade so they don’t lose him for nothing. That’s why the trade rumors will persist around him unless an extension is signed.
As Stein noted, there is not much Clarkson trade buzz around, and other teams don’t see him as available. Clarkson makes $13.3 million this season and has a player option for $14.3 million next season. He could opt out of that final year and sign a four-year extension with the Jazz starting at $16 million the first season. Does Clarkson think he could make more on the open market next summer? Or, if he wants to stay in Salt Lake City, he could opt into the $14.3 million for next season and then this summer sign a four-year extension off that, which would start at $17 million a season (and give him an extra year of security).