I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a player do what Myles Turner just did.
The Indiana Pacers big man made an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast to discuss the ongoing NBA season. With months of rumors surrounding the Lakers’ potential interest in acquiring both Turner and Buddy Hield from the Pacers in exchange for their two highly-coveted first-round draft picks, Wojnarowski decided to bluntly ask Turner whether he believed they should do the trade.
Here is the mind-boggling exchange (emphasis mine):
AW: “You’ve been hearing it for months, so I’ll ask you: If you’re the Lakers, would you do the two picks?”
MT: “That’s such an intriguing question. I think personally, when you look at the business of the league and the landscape of the league, you have to go off the future, right? We all know the future is 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 on your assets,” Turner said on the Woj Pod.”
“So, 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 out there on the floor. I’d take a very long look at it. But, as far as pulling the trigger, I get paid to shoot not make these calls, so I can’t answer that.”
Yes, that is a player who is currently under contract with one team borderline advocating for another team to trade for him. While I respect him for honestly answering the question, I am still dumbfounded by that fact.
Not to mention, isn’t this at least some form of tampering? I know that people make the case that players can’t be held accountable for such comments, but that isn’t entirely true. While the rule is seemingly a lot less strict, we saw Draymond Green receive a penalty in 2020 for publically stating on TNT that Devin Booker should leave the Phoenix Suns.
Regardless, even if the league doesn’t take any kind of action, I have to imagine Turner’s words will have some kind of fallout. Whether it be lowering the Pacers’ leverage or making things a tad awkward in the locker room, this was just too bizarre of a situation not to leave some kind of mark.
You can listen to the full podcast episode below: