Last night the Denver Nuggets were able to eliminate the Phoenix Suns from playoff contention, sending Durant, Booker, and the rest of the Suns packing for the summer.
Last season, the Pacers attempted to sign Deandre Ayton, only for the Suns to quickly match the offer sheet that the Pacers had given him. The move was out of character for the Pacers, who often avoid going after restricted free agents. Although the Pacers didn’t get Ayton, it was a win in the eyes of many fans.
However, Ayton is coming off of a terrible playoff series in which there were multiple possessions that he appeared to take off. Here is the most famous of them:
Additionally, Ayton sat out of the elimination game with a rib injury causing many to question his effort and desire, something that he has been criticized publicly for before. However, after the elimination, the sports books put out odds on where the “next” place Ayton would play if not in Phoenix. And to Pacers’ fans either disappointment or joy, Indiana nearly topped the list entirely, with only Dallas having the higher odds.
Pacers management would be silly to go after Ayton when they have Turner.
Turner is on a team friendly deal and arguably had just as good of a season as Ayton, who has struggled recently in his time in Phoenix. Turner also has good relationships with the team, something that we would be unsure of bringing in Ayton.
Fans will spend the summer romanticizing the idea of bringing Ayton here (along with a bunch of other free agents, of which we will participate), but don’t listen. The minute Myles signed the extension any chance of Ayton to the Pacers went out the window.
So in short Pacers’ fans, we’ve got our center for the future. His name is Myles Turner and he’s here to stay in Indiana.