The Indiana Pacers have been a busy team on the trade market this NBA season. It began early on in the offseason and continued through the first half. As we continue toward the postseason, Indiana could have their eye on potential trades once a year is over. The Toronto Raptors are a team in a similar position that could be looking to the offseason.
Victor Oladipo was involved in a big splash trade when he was sent to the Houston Rockets. This shows that the Pacers were interested in cleaning house and that could continue moving forward. We have seen big names such as Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon thrown in NBA trade rumors leading up to the NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers decided to not do anything but that does not mean that they are content with how the roster is built. Indiana tends to not make major changes mid-season and with the need to see how Caris LeVert fits with the rest of the key pieces, letting it ride and waiting to make moves until the offseason was the best course of action to take.
Meanwhile, Toronto could be formulating a similar plan moving forward. They signed Fred VanVleet to a four-year contract in the offseason but lost some key members of their frontcourt. Both teams have underachieved and need to rebalance their roster.
This is an area that the Raptors will look to improve and we have seen them link to name such as Jarrett Allen and Richaun Holmes in NBA free agency. The Raptors have been one of the top teams in the league but have not played like it this season. This is what could lead to some big changes.
When looking at the dynamic of both of these teams, they have assets that could help the other side. Here is what a potential trade between the two teams could look like moving forward.
Toronto Raptors Receive: Myles Turner, 2022 1st Round Pick (Lottery Protected)
Indiana Pacers Receive: OG Anunoby
Myles Turner could have been the big name that is a trade piece in the offseason. He has proved that he is an elite defender in the league and is improving his game on the offensive side of the floor. Turner is on a relatively team-friendly contract for the player that he is and this could benefit the Raptors right away. Toronto and also get a first-round pick in 2022.
OG Anunoby is a player that is viewed as a long-term building block for the Raptors and it would take a truly intriguing offer in order to move him. An elite rim protector that can space the floor alongside Pascal Siakam is something that would fit that description.
The Raptors need to find a way to get back to prominence on at least one end of the floor. Without one of the NBA’s top players like Kawhi Leonard, being an offensive force is not going to happen. Adding a talent like Myles Turner who impacts the unit as a whole defensively would go the furthest way in raising both the floor and ceiling of the group.
The Pacers need to commit to an identity at some point and face some financial restriction in their ability to make changes to their roster. Using the trade route with one of their key players i sreally the only main way they’ll be able to execute a reconfiguration of that kind.
Let’s take a closer look and see how they deal with benefit both sides right away.
Why This Trade Would Make Sense For The Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers have taken a big step back in a week Eastern Conference this season. They still have a chance at a playoff spot with a 27-31 record but this is not the position we are used to seeing them be. The loss of Victor Oladipo has been huge, but because of his contract situation, it was a necessary move to make.
The front office could find other necessary moves for big-name players. It would behoove the team to keep either Brogdon or Sabonis around to build, but everyone else could be on the trading block. This includes a player like Turner. He currently leads the league in blocks which makes him a defensive anchor.
This is something that teams could be looking for in the Pacers could get a nice haul. Anunoby is averaging 15.1 points and has taken the next step as a three-point shooter at 39.5%. He has shown intriguing improvement in his NBA career with plenty of potential left to achieve.
The idea behind this move for the Pacers is that moving on from Myles Turner would require replacing him with a versatile wing defender that can help to cover up Domantas Sabonis’ underachieving impact on that end of the floor. There may be no better long-term option than OG Anunoby.
Financially, this is a move that makes sense for Toronto by adding a 23-year-old sharpshooter. They have plenty of work to do if they want to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference but the front office knows how to build.
Why This Trade Would Benefit The Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors prioritized getting a large extension done for Fred VanVleet in the offseason and the move is paying off. He is currently second on the team with 19.4 points per game and is shooting 36.9% from beyond the arc. The overhaul in the frontcourt has hurt the team and left Pascal Siakam by himself down low. This is an area that the front office will have to improve upon in the offseason.
This is why we have seen the Raptors linked to many names in the front court. Both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol left in free agency and this has impacted Toronto negatively thus far. They are not looking like a postseason team and this is something that is not acceptable coming off a championship just two years ago.
Turner is a big that can take the offense and defense to the next level. He would complement Siakam well because of his ability to space the floor from beyond the arc in spot-up and pick-and-pop while also being one of the NBA’s true elite rim protectors.
Moving on from OG Anunoby would be far from an easy decision for the Raptors. His defensive versatility on the perimeter is helpful, but there’s more value in having a dynamic rim protector that can more than hold his own against switches out on the perimeter.
Toronto is used to making big deals and this could be a splash that the team needs. If Myles Turner is truly on the train block, Toronto will be an interesting team.