Charlotte Hornets expected to pursue trade for Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers Myles Turner. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers Myles Turner. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

While the Charlotte Hornets did not finish the 2020-21 season the way they would’ve liked, the Hornets are still in a position to continue to build and improve for next year. One building block Charlotte will look at taking on is upgrading the center position.

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One center the Hornets are expected to target during the offseason is the Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner. According to Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Networks, the Pacers are expected to hear offers from the Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics.

Turner is coming off one of his best defensive seasons with the Pacers. During the 2020-21 season, Turner averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game. His block average was the highest in the league this season and a career-high.

It’s no surprise that the Hornets would be after this versatile threat. Turner is able to score from multiple spots on the floor, while also getting back fast to on defense to make an impact. Not to mention the Hornets also had an interest in him before the trade deadline.

The Hornets are in dire need of rim protection and a move for Turner would solidify their intent to become a threat in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte finished last season with the 10th best paint defense per game, and as the 25th ranked team in defensive rebounds.

Overall, the center position is going to be a spot to watch all offseason. The Hornets are heading into the offseason with Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo becoming unrestricted free agents. The only centers under contract for the Hornets for next season are soon-to-be second-year players, Vernon Carey Jr. and Nick Richards.

So far, Hornets’ general manager Mitch Kupchak has acknowledged that the center position would be one Charlotte looks to upgrade this offseason but has not given any indication on what players the Hornets will target. Kupchak also added that it would be a “stretch” to think the Hornets would only have Carey Jr. and Richards as the centers on the roster next season.

No matter what avenue Charlotte decides to explore, the Hornets will have a decent amount of cap space to work with this offseason. Kupchak anticipates Charlotte will have as much as $29 million in salary cap space to use once free agency begins on August 2.

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