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New York Knicks received: Josh Richardson, Terry Taylor, Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers receive: Evan Fournier, Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish, Obi Toppin, Dallas’ 2023 first round picks (top 10 protection over New York), Detroit’s 2024 second round picks (over New York)
San Antonio Spurs: Mitchell Robinson*
*Untradable until January 15th.
Turner trade hypotheses sound a bit sacred knowing the Pacers don’t suck and might actually just be good. But he’s hitting free agency this summer. If Indy is unsure whether to renew now or re-sign later, or is unwilling to fight back on his new contract, it falls to the franchise to capitalize on its monster 2022-23 campaign, supercharge assets, and create its own blueprint to improve Choose this year and recalibrate it for next season.
Building a two-team deal around Robinson-plus stuff has some advantages. But the Pacers still have a lot to develop with Isaiah Jackson and Jalen Smith, and Robinson is already pretty expensive with three years and $42.9 million left on his pact.
San Antonio has room for the latter. Not only can it fully absorb Robinson, but Jakob Poeltl’s impending free agency clouds the team’s future at the 5. Spurs can also afford to keep both. Robinson’s deal is on the decline; He will make almost as much as a backup center ($13 million) last year. Richardson is on an expiring contract and doesn’t matter in the long run. Flipping him to something that could be a defensive star for a flyer isn’t illogical.
Indiana, meanwhile, snaps up two players in Quickley and Toppin who are still on their rookie deals. Both are extendable this summer, but the Pacers have more than a season and a half to figure out their fit before restricted free agency.
Toppin makes a lot of sense considering how fast Indy likes to play — and how well he’s been shooting with the three-pointer for most of this year. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, but Jackson and Smith (good defense!) can help cover up certain matchup issues.
Quickley is less of a surefire foothold. The full-strength Pacers have Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, Chris Duarte, TJ McConnell and Buddy Hield. But the latter two aren’t future building blocks, and Quickley’s defensive moxie will allow Indiana to phase out some ultra-small lineups.
The addition of Dallas’ first-rounder arms the Pacers with four picks in 2023. That’s too many. But Dallas’ could end up being the second most valuable of the group, behind only Indy’s own, and team president Kevin Pritchard can always combine multiple selections to move up. Swallowing an extra year of Fournier after this year isn’t a big deal, even if Hield is already on the list. And as brave as the Pacers have been, rolling the dice on Cam Reddish, who will soon be a restricted free agent, deepens an otherwise undersized wing rotation.
Whether the Knicks will accept that opportunity cost is debatable. Turner meets Tom Thibodeau’s request always Play a rim guard without cramping the ground. He’s also on his way to free agency and is bound to earn more than Robinson. You only acquire it if you intend to pay for it.
Not to be overlooked: New York is swapping a handful of multi-year commitments – most notably Fournier’s deal – for expiring pacts. And Richardson is a good plug and play wing that should encourage Thibs to favor smaller 4 lineups.
It’s difficult to dwell on Toppin’s future. But he and Randle aren’t both sticking together long-term. If Randle’s move proves too prohibitive, the Knicks will have to weigh the prospect of jettisoning Toppin. And it can’t be Superstar or Bust at this point. Toppin and Quickley are nearing their next contracts. Their market value will dwindle in the eyes of rebuilders like the Pacers.