Should the Milwaukee Bucks reignite trade interest in Myles Turner?

Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

I’ll start by saying that Brook Lopez was not the problem for the Milwaukee Bucks in their series against the Boston Celtics. He returned from back surgery, looked remarkably spry, and gave the Bucks some great stability in their frontcourt.

But… he’s also 34-years-old and his contract is set to expire after this coming season. He’s a very worthy extension candidate this offseason but how much longer can they continue to rely so heavily on Lopez at his age?

Milwaukee was poking around the center trade market this season in the wake of Lopez’s injury and one of the more interesting targets was Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner. It may be worthwhile to check in with the Pacers about Turner again in the offseason.

Should the Milwaukee Bucks reach out and inquire about Myles Turner?

Going back and looking at what I wrote earlier in the season when it was reported that the Bucks had interest in Turner, I said that it would be an offseason type of move if it were to happen at all, and here we are!

In a macro sense, I understand why people see this as a good fit and replacement for Lopez long-term. Turner has become one of the league’s best shot-blockers and can also step outside and hit 3s, just like Lopez. He’s also more athletic and mobile than Lopez which isn’t saying a ton since he’s nearly eight years younger but it’s certainly a strength of his game.

Turner has been remarkably consistent in terms of his season-long averages the last few seasons. He’s averaged between 12 and 13 points per game along with at least two blocks and between 6.5 to 7 rebounds per game in each of the last five seasons.

What has fluctuated a bit is his 3-point shooting. Turner seems to be the type of player that people think he’s a better shooter than he is because of one really good season. Turner shot 38.8 percent from 3 in 2018-19 on 2.6 attempts per game but hasn’t gone above 34.4 percent since then and has been just above 33 percent the last two seasons on over four attempts per game.

Now, of course, those are still solid shooting numbers for a big man but it’s not as if he’s a massive upgrade as a shooter over Lopez. He certainly could get more open looks playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday though and it could bump up his percentages a bit from behind the arc.

There also may just not be a perfect one-to-one replacement for Lopez and trying to find one will severely limit the options available.

Turner has averaged 2.7 blocks per game the last four seasons and routinely has one of the lowest field goal percentages against at the rim. That’s his biggest selling point and it would fit right in with what the Bucks want to do on defense and because of his athleticism could let them even be a little more versatile.

On the other hand, though, would the Pacers even be willing to trade Turner? They were reluctant before the deadline because they wanted to see how Turner and Tyrese Haliburton paired together as possible building blocks for the future.

Milwaukee also doesn’t have much to entice the Pacers in terms of assets. They would need to include Lopez to make the money work as well as another contract such as George Hill but Indiana wouldn’t want two older players for their 26-year-old shot-blocking menace. Milwaukee’s first-round pick is a nice sweetener and perhaps they’re intrigued by Jordan Nwora or something but there would easily be better packages available if they were to put Turner on the market.

Overall it seems as though a Turner-to-Milwaukee deal would be very unlikely. The Bucks don’t have what the Pacers are looking for and while it could be a decent fit in regards to playstyle, this feels like a pipe dream for fans that have been wanting Turner as a long-term Lopez replacement.

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The Milwaukee Bucks need to tweak their roster but this might be too big of a tweak that is unlikely to materialize anyway.