Over the last 12 months, perhaps no player has been linked more to the Lakers in trade discussions than Myles Turner. Through various machinations of trades that have included Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield packaged with him, Turner has been the mainstay as a target for the Lakers.
As it stands, one of the few remaining deals on the table involves Turner, which makes Monday’s appearance on The Woj Pod by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN all the odder for the big man. Turner directly addressed the rumors and basically made the case for the Lakers to trade for him (emphasis mine).
“That’s such an intriguing question. I think, personally, when you look at this business of the league and know the landscape of the league, you have to go off your future, right? We all know picks are so valuable in this league. Someone like myself, I’m heading into the last year of my deal and you want to make sure you’re getting a return for your assets. If I’m the Lakers, I take a very hard look at this with the position that you’re in. I know what I can provide for a team — my leadership, my shot blocking, my 3-point ability and just my ability to make plays on the floor — and I take a very long look at it. As far as pulling the trigger, I get paid to shoot, not make these calls. So, I couldn’t answer that.”
Later on in the podcast, Turner talked about what it would mean to head to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers after spending his career in Indiana (via Ricky O’Donnell/SB Nation).
“Yes, [it’s appealing]. Just playing in the bigger market, I just feel like here in the Midwest we don’t get the love that I think we deserve. It doesn’t get taken on the national level. You are under the microscope out there at the West, when you are doing bad you going to hear about it. When you are doing great you are going to get a lot of love, especially with the love that Lakers get. I think that another aspect that is playing with greatness and playing under LeBron, I feel like he demands certain level of excellency especially at this point of his career. It’s just one of those things, when you are out there, you gotta perform. People are going expect you to go out there and hold on to that legacy that Lakers have built over the years.”
Another interesting aspect of the podcast is how much Turner talked about wanting to be a center. Considering how much Anthony Davis has talked about NOT wanting to play center, it seems like a further perfect match.
No matter how much Turner may campaign for it, though, the Lakers seem pretty set on waiting to do a deal. They may have stumbled upon something with Russell Westbrook off the bench based on the last two games, it’s a move and development that would relieve a fair amount of pressure off the franchise to do a move.
But eventually, it could all still end up with Turner in Los Angeles, which certainly sounds like his preference.