How Trading for Myles Turner Could Resolve Vogel and Davis Center Issues
Could the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Myles Turner resolve the ongoing internal conflicts caused by head coach Frank Vogel wanting to play two bigs and superstar center Anthony Davis prefering to play power forward?
While the Lakers initially committed to moving Davis to the five to make the trade for Westbrook work, unexpected early season injuries and Vogel’s usual stubborn reluctance to play small ball have so far undermined the decision. Frank’s always been true believer that defense starts with rim protection, which is why his first instincts are always to go big rather than small, despite the Lakers having protected the rim better when playing small than big.
While Anthony Davis is better when playing center than power forward, let’s examine whether the Lakers could be better as a team if they were to trade for Turner so AD could play his preferred four and Vogel his preferred two bigs.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Turner and Davis Twin Towers?
Trading for Myles Turner and starting him at center could be a franchise defining move that would stabilize, diversify, and upgrade the Lakers’ front court and make them championship contenders for the next five years.
Aside from enabling Vogel to play two bigs and Davis to play the four, Turner at the five would immediately give the Lakers the defensive rim protector and offensive floor spacer they’ve been trying to acquire the last three years. Adding the 25-year old Turner’s league third best 2.7 blocks per game and 41.2% 3-point shooting on over five threes per game would transform the Lakers’ defense and offense for this season and the foreseeable future.
Suddenly, the Lakers would have their own version of a twin towers front court with the 25-year old Turner and the 28-year old Davis who could put a lid on the basket defensively while still being able to play five-out offensively. Starting Turner at the five would enable Davis to limit his minutes and avoid the banging of playing center and let James focus on playing point forward and becoming the elite 3&D wing the Lakers have desperately needed.
The Lakers’ roster right now badly needs bigs who can protect the paint and stretch the floor like Myles Turner instead of low post traditional centers like DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard who can be played off the court.
Will Turner Be Available and Do the Lakers Have Enough Assets?
The Lakers have long coveted Myles Turner as the perfect defensive rim protector and offensive floor stretcher. The upcoming trade deadline may be the perfect opportunity for the Lakers to make a mega trade for Turner.
The Indiana Pacers are off to a 3–7 start under returning head coach Rick Carlisle, which makes them 13th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, still struggling with the difficult on-court fit between Sabonis and Turner. While Carlisle was brought in to make the Pacers’ two 7-foot 250 pound centers work, he’s already started to stagger Turner’s and Sabonis’ time on the floor to avoid those troublesome, inefficient twin towers lineups.
Unless something changes before the trade deadline, the Pacers are almost guaranteed to look to move Turner since Sabonis is the franchise player. With strong interest in Turner, could the Lakers make a competitive offer? The answer is the Lakers could and should go all-in for Myles Turner. The Lakers should offer Talen Horton-Tucker ($10M/Year), Kendrick Nunn ($5M/Year), and Malik Monk ($2.6M/Year) for Myles Turner ($18M/Year).
Next to LeBron James, Myles Turner is the best possible fit next to Anthony Davis in the league today. He is the perfect front court mate to play next to AD and lead the Lakers to championships for the next five years.
How Would Turner Trade Impact Lakers’ Championship Quest?
Trading for Myles Turner is the Lakers’ guaranteed ticket to a championship. He not only makes the Lakers a juggernaut offensively and defensively but also saves wear-and-tear on injury prone LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Myles Turner could have a bigger impact on the Lakers’ championship hopes than Russell Westbrook because he helps solve some of the serious floor spacing and perimeter defensive problems caused by the trade for Russ. Integrating Turner would be child’s play compared to integrating Westbrook. Myles’ 41% 3-point shooting will help the Lakers’ starting lineup spacing while his 2.7 blocks per game will help their perimeter defense.
While the Lakers would give up the 20-year Horton-Tucker, the 26-year old Nunn, and the 23-year old Monk, they would be getting the durable 25-year old Myles Turner, who has averaged 65 games over his six-year pro career. While giving up a home grown potential star like THT is painful, he’s still two or three years away from being a starter and Nunn and Monk don’t have Bird rights so there is no realistic way the Lakers would be able to keep them.
What it comes down to is the Lakers would be trading the tomorrow of 20-year old Talen Horton-Tucker for the today and tomorrow of 25-year old Myles Turner and an improved chance to win their 18th championship.
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