Should the Pacers even entertain trading Myles Turner for Jrue Holiday?

Myles Turner - (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Myles Turner - (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Kevin Pritchard said Victor Oladipo was the only untouchable player or asset on the Indiana Pacers, which opens the door for hypothetical Myles Turner trades.

Myles Turner is the cornerstone of the Indiana Pacers current defense thanks to his rim protection, shot blocking, and all-around defensive ability.

But those are also all reasons why the Pacers trading him could potentially happen. To get something in a trade, you have to offer something of value. If Indiana is looking to upgrade the team in a trade, they have to consider giving up someone like Turner or a 1st round pick, if not more.

There are no current rumors about trading Turner, but Kevin Pritchard indicated that outside of Victor Oladipo, everything was on the table as far trades are concerned.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN hypotheses, a trade of Myles Turner for a near All-Star player like Jrue Holiday is a reasonable idea.

"But if Davis isn’t interested in staying, that isn’t all bad news for the Pelicans. Griffin could turn around and trade both AD and Holiday for a treasure trove of young players and picks to use to rebuild around Williamson and his rare gifts.One hypothetical: Davis gets traded to the Celtics for a package built around Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, and Holiday is flipped to the Pacers for Myles Turner and more pieces. The Pelicans would then be stacked with young talent in Williamson’s age range."

So what should the Pacers think about before potentially trading — or not trading — Turner this summer?

For the record, I’m not suggesting the Pacers trade anyone. It would be a waste of our time to do so unless suddenly Kevin Pritchard wants my advice (he doesn’t). But with trades and rumors of trades going now that the draft lottery is over, it’s worth digging into the idea, regardless of mine or your personal feelings on the matter.

Without getting bogged down in the “more pieces” part of Bontemps’ suggestion, let’s look at both sides of the equation in this hypothetical trade.

Defensive Player of the Year candidates aren’t a dime a dozen

Myles Turner is one of the better defenders in the NBA, especially among bigs. There’s a reason why his name is mentioned in the Defensive Player of the Year award hunt.

Indiana’s defense was at its best when Turner was on the floor and had a slightly better net rating than Domantas Sabonis when sharing the floor with the same players. Turner’s best attribute defensively is his rim protection, but he also improved his pick and roll coverage to extend his effective area to around a 10-foot radius around the basket.

An example of his defensive ability came in the playoffs as he limited Al Horford to 25% shooting when he was the primary defender according to’s matchup data. As good as Al Horford normally is, Turner made him look nothing like that. Turner kept him from hurting the Pacers both near the rim and away from it.

Considering the opposite is true for Sabonis in that series, the Pacers need a thorough decision-making process before they moved Myles to another team. They’d either have to accept a lesser form of defense from Sabonis and hope the advantages of him and Holiday at point guard would be a better overall product.

None the less, they’d need to figure out how well their defense could hold up without the occasionally ponytailed center.

But that same defense is also why he has value to other teams, too.

All-Star level point guards aren’t either to find, either

In Bontempts’ hypothetical, losing Turner is an obvious downside, but there are a few reasons why the Pacers could live with such a deal.

Turner is due $18 million over the next four seasons which is a fine enough amount for a DPOY candidate who makes the shots he takes. However, if Turner only averages around 13 points a game he has so far in his career, there’s a limited upside to the deal.

Outside of his so-so rebounding and reluctant offense, there’s not a ton of things to worry about with Turner. His impact defensively is enough to justify his contract, but his offense is wanting.

The contract and Turner’s play are good as is, but if the Pacers are looking at trading him, they’d be of the belief his offense isn’t going to improve, and that paying Holiday roughly $10 million more than Turner a year is a worthy pay off.

Jrue’s 21.2 points, 7.7 assists, and 5 rebounds a game aren’t something you see every day, and paired with an average usage rate, he could be the perfect compliment to Victor Oladipo in the backcourt.

Again, the Pacers would see the trade-off in defense for added offense while paying a little bit more for the services of the new point guard.

The Pacers wouldn’t be foolish to hold on to Turner, but acquiring Holiday wouldn’t make them that, either.

A fair trade doesn’t mean the Pacers should trade Myles Turner

Should the Pacers entertain trading Turner? Yes. But even if the offer is as fair as Myles for Jrue, that doesn’t mean it’s the right move, either.

Ultimately, a trade speaks to more than just the players and assets involved. The Pacers wouldn’t trade Turner unless they had a belief that Sabonis (or someone else) could fill the void defensively in some way. Sabonis hasn’t shown the same defensive abilities as Turner, but the fact he is a double-double threat off the bench says much to his potential as a starter.

More from Pacers News

A trade for Jrue (or any point guard) would say the Pacers want to win now, not wait for Jrue’s brother Aaron Holiday to develop. Trading Turner or Sabonis would indicate Indiana isn’t as worried about player development as they are competing now.

Indiana needs more playmakers but making sure the cost of acquiring one doesn’t outweigh the value of your outgoing pieces is part of the equation too.

Indiana needs to give up something to get something, but whether that’s Turner, Sabonis, another player or a pick is what makes the solution to the Pacers problems difficult.

Bringing in Jrue cuts into how many or how high quality of a free agent Indiana could sign as well. Assuming picks are involved, it cuts into their ability to improve in the intermediate and long-term.

Without knowing if there is mutual interest between certain free agents and the Indiana Pacers, it’s hard to say definitively whether trading Turner for Jrue is a good idea or not.

Next. How much is Bojan Bogdanovic worth to the Pacers?. dark

One way or another, the Pacers must make a splash this summer if they want more than another short time in the NBA playoffs. Unless draft picks are involved, this hypothetical trade reminds us that if Indiana makes a trade, they’ll have to give up a player with value and or significant upside to change the perception that they’d merely be happy with another playoff appearance.