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Deal of the Day: How would a Myles Turner-Thomas Bryant trade fare for the Wizards?

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Washington acquires the Pacers Center for Thomas Bryant

NBA: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Deal took a turn through Indy and came back with Dougie McBuckets and A-A-RON Holiday. This time we try a more popular target.

The Wizards trade the No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, center Thomas Bryant, guard Ish Smith, and forward Admiral Schofield to the Indiana Pacers for center Myles Turner, guard Aaron Holiday and the Pacers’ second round pick #54 overall.

Why do the Pacers do the deal?

Because they can’t believe we haven’t written about a Myles Turner deal either.

In this scenario it’s part of a broader transition in Indianapolis with Victor Oladipo on the move as well although not in this deal. Every team in the bubble had a different journey. Indy’s included shifting opinions and decisions on whether Oladipo would be there, then if he’d play. It also included an extension for then coach Nate McMillan… and his firing after play-off elimination.

Tumultuous.

They’ve since gone off fan radar by hiring Nate Bjorkgren, a former Raptor‘s assistant, G League head coach, player under and then coach under Nick Nurse going back more than two decades. His MO is player development.

Given the above, can anyone really say they know the direction the Pacers are taking?

There have been whispers that Turner would welcome a change of scenery as soon as transactions are green-lit. We honor those whispers here.

Indy clears Turner and the three-year, $54 millon left on his contract while replacing him with a younger, cheaper, hometown-university guy who shoot better from 3 in Thomas Bryant.

The Pacers jump into this lottery so they’re hot for someone in the Top 10. Again with so many moving parts it’s hard to say who. Killian Hayes? RJ Hampton? Pokusevski?

The Deal realizes T.J. Warren is the most popular Pacer after his output last season. He’s also got the most history with new head coach Nate Bjorkgren. Warren swears by Nate after their work together in Phoenix catapulted Warren into career years. He’s the least likely to move and dare I say untouchable? I dare.

Why do the Wizards do the deal?

As The Athletic’s Fred Katz mentioned recently, Myles Turner is rare as an immediate impact player and a future piece given his age (24) and salary control for 3 seasons.

The impact is felt in rim protection. Turner led the league in blocks during the 18-19 season then finished 5th in the league last year. He’s been in the top 7 in blocks 4 out of his 5 NBA seasons.

Go on? Ok I will.

He’s had top 10 and top 20 seasons in Defensive Rating, Defensive Win Shares and Defensive Box Plus/Minus too.

No one can say for certain he’ll ever be DPOY but he is a significant defensive presence when utilized to his fullest. Adding him as a back stop allows the team to begin fortifying their half court structure.

Offensively fans love him as a potential stretch big. I say potential because he’s league average for his career. Nothing to sneeze at as a center but not a number that makes teams quake. He took four 3pt shots per game last season and his percentage dipped to 34%.

The Wizards would want to get him more inside work running pick and rolls with Bradley Beal and John Wall. They’ll generate plenty of open 3’s too.

The argument against Turner is pretty straightforward. Centers are fungible in today’s NBA. Cost is only going down as league finances tighten. Now isn’t the time to invest $56mm over the next three seasons in a center, even a 24 year old with 309 career starts.

Aaron Holiday can shoot it and plays with good speed. His 6’7 wingspn makes you have hope for defensive disruptivness. I liked him in the last deal and he balances out some value and makes it easier to take on Turner’s salary. If it was T.J. McConnell I’d do that too. As long as one of their reserve PGs are coming back to make up for including Ish to match salaries.

Wizards would have the No. 37 (Zeke Nnaji), No. 54 (Justinian Jessup stash), the MLE (Justin Holiday) and the BAE (Nerlens Noel).

Here’s the new rotation after the moves are done:

  • John Wall - Troy Brown Jr. - Aaron Holiday - Shabazz Napier (UFA)
  • Bradley Beal - Jerome Robinson - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
  • ________ - Isaac Bonga
  • Rui Hachimura - Davis Bertans (UFA)
  • Myles Turner - _________- Moritz Wagner - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)

Poll

Myles Turner for 9, Bryant Ish and Admiral?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Yes, lock in a young shot blocker
    (156 votes)
  • 39%
    No, Bryant AND #9 is too much.
    (123 votes)
  • 4%
    No, my problem is the money he’s owed.
    (13 votes)
  • 6%
    No, I just like to say no.
    (21 votes)
313 votes total Vote Now

Trade Resources

Want to request a trade target or send a challenge? Email me at Jheiser3 at gmail.com and include your Bullets Forever screen name.