The Indiana Pacers have gone through a lot of change over the past decade, but one man has been there through almost all of it – Myles Turner. Despite the constant trade rumors, Turner has been a staple of Pacers basketball for almost 10 years.
Indiana drafted the big man in 2015, and he’s been around ever since, surviving three different eras of Pacers basketball. He played with Paul George and Domantas Sabonis, and now he’s rolling with Tyrese Haliburton.
But at one point, Turner was looked at as the guy in Indiana. When the Pacers traded George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, they landed Turner the keys to the franchise, but he failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
Indiana Pacers handed Myles Turner keys to organization after Paul George trade, but he let the opportunity slip
During an appearance on Tidal League’s “Run Your Race” podcast with Theo Pinson, Myles Turner spoke about this time period, noting that the Pacers told him, “the keys are yours, this your city.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t ready.
“Bro, I wasn’t ready. And I let that s*** slip. Real fast,” Turner explained. “And even going back and looking at it, it was interesting. The beginning of that year, I got hurt. I got a concussion. I was out for like two and a half week. So, I missed the first two and a half weeks of the season, [and] Vic [Victor Oladipo} was going crazy. Hitting game-winners. Averaging like 20 a game. Domas [Domantas Sabonis] was like 20 and 10.”
Turner was the 11th pick in the draft, and the Pacers had high expectations for him. And if he has never gotten hurt at the beginning of 2017, maybe he would be an All-Star-caliber guy by now. But that’s now how things played out.
Instead, Turner’s injury somewhat paved the way for Victor Olaipo’s and Domantas Sabonis’ emergence in Indiana. Those two likely would have figured it out regardless, but Turner’s absence during their surge led to the big man remaining in a supporting role.
From then until this past season, Turner’s role with the Pacers stayed the same, but with Haliburton by his side for a full year, the big man finally broke out, enjoying the best season of his career in a long time.
During the podcast, Turner also spoke about how excited he is to be a leader in the locker room for this current Pacers team, as he’s now one of the veterans on a young, up-and-coming squad.
So, while Turner wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunity the Pacers handed to him some odd years ago, he’s in a great place to help lead them into the future.