Why Myles Turner is the Perfect Trade Candidate for the Utah Jazz

Feb 7, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) passes the ball while Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) defends in the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) passes the ball while Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) defends in the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Utah Jazz fans are left wondering what the future holds for their team, following an unexpected beginning to the offseason for their organization. In the last month, Quin Snyder stepped down following eight seasons as head coach, and the organization traded away two key defensive pieces, Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale. Many fans believe that Donovan Mitchell is the next big name to be traded and that the Jazz are headed towards a rebuild.

Utah Jazz: Mitchell’s future remains unclear

Utah General Manager Justin Zanik made it clear to reporters earlier this week that the organization has “no intention” of trading star guard, Donovan Mitchell. He noted that nobody is untouchable on the roster, but has also stated that he wants to build around Mitchell, and the pieces they have alongside him.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is currently reporting that the organization is “showing a willingness to listen to possible trade scenarios.” According to Wojnarowski, “the asking price appears to be steep, but in the wake of Utah’s recent Rudy Gobert blockbuster deal to Minnesota, the Jazz are no longer simply dismissing calls on Mitchell.”

Whether or not we see Mitchell traded this offseason is still very much up in the air. It would require a significant amount of assets, for Utah to let go of their young star. On the flip side, Mitchell does not want to wait around for a rebuild and waste his prime years playing for a team competing to just make the playoffs. If the Jazz went into next season with the roster they have now, this is what they would be doing.

They would not be a bad team, by any means, but after trading their star center to Minnesota there is little hope that the team would win a playoff series. The ceiling for this current Jazz team is being eliminated in a six or seven-game series in the first round.

Utah needs to make a move if they want to keep Mitchell happy in Utah and contend for championships soon.

The next move could be trading for Myles Turner

With Deandre Ayton being heavily linked to Indiana, Turner would be a perfect fit for Utah, a team in desperate need of a big man.

If the Pacers traded for Ayton this offseason, Turner would almost definitely leave the Pacers for free when his contract expires after next season. To avoid losing him for nothing, the Pacers will be forced to trade him for less than his current value. This gives Utah a fantastic opportunity to acquire a young, starting-caliber center for cheap.

Turner is a more versatile offensive player than Gobert. Since his rookie season, Turner is averaging 37% from three, shooting over four threes per game in his last three seasons.

Turner can spread the floor on offense, something Gobert was never able to do. This will pull his defender away from the paint and give Mitchell the ability to drive more often without a big man waiting for him. If Turner’s defender drops off him to help defend the drive, then he will have an open look from three, a shot he has proven to hit consistently in the last few years.

What makes Turner such an appealing trade candidate, beyond his versatility on offense and standout qualities on defense, is the ability for the Jazz to retain assets when trading for him and to sign him to a team-friendly long-term deal.

Acquiring Turner would likely take two picks and a role player or two. A first and a second, along with someone like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and someone else to balance salary cap problems would likely get a deal done.

After trading for six first-round picks in the Gobert and O’Neale deals, the Jazz would be bringing in a new star center while retaining almost all their future first-round picks. With these picks, the Jazz will be able to improve at a quick rate and build a championship-contending team around Mitchell in the next few seasons.

Signing Turner to a long-term contract additionally allows the organization more financial flexibility than what they previously had with Gobert, who signed a 5-year, $205 million max contract with Utah in 2020.

Turner, who last signed a 4-year, $80 million deal with Indiana in 2019 will most likely look for a deal in the $100-$120 million deal range with a new team. The Jazz could save on average between $10 and $15 million a year, which will go a long way toward building a championship-caliber team.

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In the coming years, Utah can build around the core of Mitchell and Turner in free agency with their more flexible salary cap. With plenty of future draft picks at their disposal, the Jazz can be aggressive in the trade market bringing in stars who they will now be able to pay.

The Jazz could also choose to build around Mitchell and Turner in the draft. With seven first-round picks in the next four years, and former Celtics GM and President, Danny Ainge, taking over the reins of the organization, the team could strike gold in the draft.

Regardless, Utah fans, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about your team’s future.