Should the Indiana Pacers extend Myles Turner this offseason?

With the 2022 NBA Draft just a few weeks away, the Indiana Pacers brass is likely laser-focused on making the necessary preparations, negotiations, and scouting to beef up their strategy with a high selection to acquire a talented prospect.

However, as is with every team in the league, the offseason will be a long one, and will have the team pondering on a variety of questions on the table. One of the pivotal things that they must address is the looming contract situation of longtime Pacers center Myles Turner, who is eligible for an extension this offseason.

While trading Domantas Sabonis could indeed be a vote of confidence for Turner, there could be some valid inhibitions with handing him a lofty extension. Nevertheless, should the Pacers offer him one in the following months?

The Indiana Pacers have to decide about Myles Turner’s potential contract extension

Should the Indiana Pacers extend Myles Turner now? The easy answer is yes. Allowing the window to extend the big man to lapse will give him a chance to leave the team for nothing in 2023 as an unrestricted free agent. Even if the Pacers once again open the trade panel for him in the next campaign, his value will not be as high as it normally is, given that he will be functioning essentially as a rental in that regard.

Thus, whatever the inclination of Indiana’s circle is, it would benefit them the most to extend Turner now. After two injury-riddled seasons, his camp does not have ample leverage to plead for a hefty raise. The Pacers’ traditional conservativity with tendering lucrative deals also plays a factor here, though the need to shake up that attitude may not arise often given that both parties should easily be able to negotiate a team-friendly, reasonable deal.

According to Nate Duncan, Turner will be eligible for a 4-year, $97 million extension.

An average annual salary of approximately $24 million may not be what most fans will think of as the ideal figure for Myles, but it could be the ceiling, instead of the floor in contract negotiations between both parties. Depending on their free agency plans and output, that amount could certainly change, though it will probably hover around that value.

If the Indiana Pacers truly envision Myles Turner as a part of the franchise’s core, then a contract extension this offseason with the figure above should be logical for both parties, ensuring that the team retains its culture setter and defensive anchor while retaining flexibility with him as an asset which can be liquidated for other assets if things do not work out.