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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Indiana Pacers

Myles Turner posts noteworthy tweet after game against Clippers

Myles Turner during warmups

Feb 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) warms up before the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Turner was not about to let 2022 end without flexing one last time.

Turner and the Indiana Pacers knocked off the LA Clippers on Saturday, winning 131-130. The veteran center Turner was especially effective, putting the Clippers into the deep fryer by posting 34 points on 11-for-17 shooting.

After the game, Turner tweeted the famous Michael Jordan meme from “The Last Dance” that reads, “… and I took that personally.”

It is not clear if the Clippers were talking trash before the game or if there was something else that Turner took personally. But he got badly bullied by Clippers center Ivica Zubac the last time the two teams played on Nov. 29 (Zubac went for a murderous 31-29 line in a Clippers win). On Saturday though, it was Turner’s turn to do the bullying (with Zubac limited to 27 minutes as the Clippers chose to go small).

Turner then quote-tweeted a post criticizing the argument that Indiana’s “soft schedule” was supposedly responsible for their success this season.

The Pacers had very low expectations this year, and Turner himself has often been mentioned as a likely trade chip in a potential roster teardown. But the team is now sixth in the East at 20-17, and there have been several recent signs that Turner may be not be going anywhere either.

Report: Pacers open contract talks with rumored trade chip

Myles Turner during warmups

Feb 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) warms up before the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers may be preparing to make a long-term deal with a player that has frequently come up in trade rumors.

The Pacers have opened preliminary talks with center Myles Turner about a contract extension, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Pacers have cap space to spare and can renegotiate Turner’s current deal to pay him more money in the short term as an incentive for Turner to agree to a deal.

Talks are in the early stages. Any deal would have to be reached prior to March 1, or Turner would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Turner’s name has come up in trade rumors repeatedly, partly because of his status as a potential free agent. While this is not necessarily closing the door on that potential outcome, it does suggest that the Pacers are not completely set on trying to move the center, and would very much be open to keeping him.

Turner has been key to the Pacers’ success this season, averaging 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. The 26-year-old has become the anchor of the team’s frontcourt, and it is easy to see why they might prefer to keep him around.

Awesome video of Tyrese Haliburton explaining play to beat Lakers goes viral

Tyrese Haliburton reading the defense

“A Beautiful Mind” was about mathematician John Nash, but it might also be appropriately applied to Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton and the Pacers pulled a rabbit out of their hats to stun the Los Angeles Lakers on the Lakers’ home floor on Monday night. Despite trailing by double digits for much of the second half (including by 17 with less than ten minutes left in the fourth quarter), the Pacers came storming back and won 116-115 on an Andrew Nembhard buzzer-beating three.

The underrated hero of that sequence was the 22-year-old Haliburton, who coralled the offensive rebound off a Myles Turner miss, took his time, made the proper read, and hit Nembhard on the left wing right in the nick of time.

After the game, Haliburton gave an in-depth explanation what was going through his mind on that chaotic final play. Here is the awesome video.

“I don’t know how much time was up,” said Haliburton, who collected the rebound with about five seconds left. “I kinda glanced up. At first, I was gonna rise up and shoot it at five seconds. [But] I took one more dribble, and I think I had four seconds, a lot of time, so I took two more dribbles.

“Buddy [Hield], he was in the corner,” Haliburton continued. “Benn[edict Mathurin] was on the block and AD [Anthony Davis] was kinda splitting the two. Yeah, I wanted to throw it to Buddy. But I knew if I threw it to Buddy, that was going to be a hard contest from AD, tough shot. So I reverse pivoted with my left foot, and when I went to kick it, I saw LeBron [James], like. in the paint. And then it was kinda read if Bron took two steps I’m throwing it over the top to Benn. But he was late, so I just tried it to Drew for the game.”

That was highly impressive for Haliburton to keep his cool and go through all those progressions in his head in less than five seconds (especially in a scramble situation in the clutch off an unexpected rebound). In real time, it felt like Haliburton may have held onto the ball for a beat too long. But he zipped the bullet pass to Nembhard and was right on the money, hitting Nembhard in his shooting pocket for the perfect quick-fire three. Onions.

The read from Haliburton, who is averaging 19.9 points and 11.3 assists per game this season, brought the Pacers to 12-8 overall. The Lakers fell to 7-12 on the year in what was a humilating game for them for several reasons.

Report: Pacers open to trading 1 notable player

Rick Carlisle in a suit

Feb 7, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One Indiana Pacers player may be on his way out after just 26 games played for the team.

The Athletic reports this week that both the Pacers and veteran guard Buddy Hield are open to finding a trade that works for both sides. The report adds that the Los Angeles Lakers had trade talks with the Pacers around Hield throughout the summer. The Lakers had even considered sending Russell Westbrook and two future first-round picks to Indiana for a package that included Hield but ultimately decided against it.

You can read The Athletic’s full reporting on the trade negotiations between the Pacers and the Lakers as well their respective team situations here.

The 29-year-old Hield, a deadeye who flirts with 20 points per game and is a 39.8 percent career three-point shooter, was acquired by Indiana from the Sacramento Kings at last year’s trade deadline. He has two years and $39 million left on his contract.

Hield figures to be expendable for the rebuilding Pacers, especially since the trade with Sacramento netted them Tyrese Haliburton as well. But Indiana appears to be more intent on keeping another one of their veteran assets.

Pacers say 1 coveted trade target is off market

Rick Carlisle in a suit

Feb 7, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers appear to be switching off the hot stove for one of their top players.

In a radio appearance Wednesday on 1075 The Fan in Indianapolis, Pacers GM Chad Buchanan addressed center Myles Turner’s future with the team. Buchanan said that Turner will not be traded before the start of the coming season and will be on Indiana’s roster on opening night, per veteran NBA writer Marc Stein.

The former lottery pick Turner appeared to react to the news with an emoji-laden tweet later in the day on Wednesday.

Turner, 26, has been with the Pacers for his entire seven-year career. But Turner trade rumors have almost become an annual tradition. To an extent, that much is unavoidable since Turner is a dynamic big man (an A-list rim-protector who is also one of the tops at his position from three-point range) on a Pacers side that has been mediocre at best throughout his career.

Indiana could still choose to shop Turner again before the trade deadline next February. But for the time being, any teams hoping to land a lively two-way center like Turner (such as this notable squad) will just have to bark up another tree.

Pacers bringing in ex-Rick Carlisle Mavericks player

Rick Carlisle in a suit

Feb 7, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

You can take Rick Carlisle out of Dallas, but you can’t take the Dallas out of Rick Carlisle.

Evan Sidery of Basketball News reported on Thursday that the Indiana Pacers are adding veteran forward James Johnson to their training camp roster. Guard Langston Galloway will also be joining the Pacers for camp, Sidery adds.

The 33-year-old Johnson is a 13-season NBA veteran and has a reputation as a major enforcer. He put up 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game last season for Brooklyn. Prior to that, Johnson played under the Pacers head coach Carlisle on the Dallas Mavericks in the 2020-21 season.

Indiana lost one high-usage player (TJ Warren) to the Nets in free agency this offseason after having traded another one (Malcolm Brogdon) to the Boston Celtics shortly prior. That means Johnson (plus Galloway for that matter) should have a good shot at making the final regular season roster.

Report: 2 teams viewed as most likely suitors for Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook warms up

Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have been operating as if Russell Westbrook will remain with the team next season, but that does not mean they have closed the door on trading the star point guard. If they do go that route, there are reportedly two teams to keep an eye on.

Michael Scotto and Jovan Buha of HoopsHype discussed the Westbrook situation during their latest podcast. Buha said he has been told that the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers are the most likely suitors for Westbrook, with the former seeming like a better bet.

The main obstacle in the Lakers’ trade talks centered around Westbrook is that they do not want to give up their two future unprotected first-round picks. Most teams have asked for both picks in exchange for taking on Westbrook’s $47 million contract.

Still, there may be a path to a deal. Buha said he was told by sources that the Lakers could get more aggressive in trying to trade Westbrook before training camp begins. One scenario where they might be persuaded to give up their two first-round picks is if they land Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.

The Lakers reportedly have a plan in place for if they are unable to trade Westbrook. In the meantime, however, they are clearly still exploring ways to move on from the 33-year-old.

Lakers-Pacers blockbuster trade reportedly has 1 holdup

Russell Westbrook with his arm out

Nov 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts during the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have been engaged in discussions about a blockbuster trade that would see them swap star players, but those talks have reportedly broken off.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said earlier this week that the Lakers and Pacers have held trade talks centered on star guard Buddy Hield. One scenario that was outlined involved Indiana sending Hield and Myles Turner to the Lakers for Russell Westbrook and draft capital. Apparently, L.A. feels the Pacers asked for too much draft capital.

According to Bob Kravitz and Shams Charania of The Athletic, trade discussions between L.A. and Indiana fizzled out over the Lakers’ refusal to include a second first-round pick in the deal.

It makes sense that the Pacers would want multiple first-round picks. Westbrook is 33 and coming off a rough season. He is also owed $47.1 million after he opted into the final year of his contract. Hield and Turner are both significantly younger. Hield is also a player whom the Lakers have coveted for years. They are going to have to pay if they want to get him while also unloading Westbrook.

Hield averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 26 games with the Pacers last season after they acquired him from the Sacramento Kings. Westbrook had better overall numbers with 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, but he shot 29.8 percent from three-point range compared to Hield’s 36.4 percent.

If the only holdup in the trade is a 2029 first-round pick, you would have to think there is still hope of it getting done.

Report: Lakers could move Russell Westbrook to surprise team

Russell Westbrook warms up

Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is still coming up in trade rumors, including one new scenario that was brought up on Wednesday.

In an appearance on “NBA Today,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have re-engaged in trade talks centered around Pacers guard Buddy Hield. McMenamin added that the trade could also include Westbrook if center Myles Turner was also involved, though the primary focus appears to be Hield.

The Lakers are basically looking for any way to get out from under Westbrook’s contract right now. Hield has been a long-term target of theirs, so in the unlikely event they could combine those goals, that would be an ideal solution.

What we do not know is whether the Pacers would entertain such an option. They might ask the Lakers for what the rest of the league has wanted, which might be a non-starter.

Deandre Ayton agrees to massive offer sheet with Eastern Conference team

Deandre Ayton looks ahead

Jan 3, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the New York Knicks at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Deandre Ayton is getting the huge contract he sought, and looks like he will be departing the Phoenix Suns as well.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133 million maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. The Suns will have 48 hours to match the offer sheet or let Ayton go.

Ayton signing an offer sheet with Indiana essentially takes a sign-and-trade off the table. Restricted free agents cannot be part of a sign-and-trade deal once they have signed an offer sheet with another team, so the Suns will ultimately have to either keep Ayton until at least next January or lose him to the Pacers now for nothing.

Indiana had quickly established itself as Ayton’s likely landing spot recently. The Suns do not appear to value Ayton as a max player, so the most likely scenario may be that they simply let him walk.