Lakers Rumors: Some Within Organization Are Skeptical Of Myles Turner’s Fit Next To Anthony Davis
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another offseason without celebrating a championship for the Los Angeles Lakers, although the front office has a lot to work with.

There are only three players with guaranteed contracts next season — LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Max Christie. Malik Beasley has a $16 million contract that is a team option and the Lakers can guarantee Mo Bamba’s $10 million salary and Jarred Vanderbilt’s $4.6 million salary.

Bringing back Bamba is a possibility if L.A. prefers to keep a homegrown version of a solid center off the bench or one to slot next to Davis in the starting lineup. The rumor mill is already churning with a different face tied to the Lakers for that role though in Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner, who has seemingly been linked to L.A. for the last three years. However, Turner may not have too many fans within the Lakers, via The Athletic’s Jovan Buha:

The obvious candidate is Myles Turner, who the Lakers have been tied to for years. They could acquire the Pacers’ center by combining the salaries of Malik Beasley ($16.5 million) and Mo Bamba ($10.3 million), along with either their 2023 first-round pick (No. 17), a future first or multiple second-round picks. (More on the specifics of trading Beasley and Bamba below.)

Turner checks a lot of the boxes the Lakers need. He’s one of the few 3-and-D centers in the league, which would allow Los Angeles to remain big defensively, with Turner and Anthony Davis patrolling the paint, while also maintaining their spacing offensively (Turner shot 37.3 percent on four 3-point attempts per game last season). There are some within the Lakers that remain skeptical of the way a Turner-Davis frontcourt fits in the playoffs. I understand their skepticism, but I think Turner and Davis are skilled and versatile enough to make the partnership work. Turner took a leap last season and looks to be a legitimate “16-game player.”

Turner’s been linked to the Lakers as far back as March 2021 and it isn’t the first time they have been skeptical about Turner’s fit. In early Nov. 2022, it was rumored that some within the Lakers didn’t believe a trade for Turner and his teammate Buddy Hield would move the championship needle. That doesn’t seem to have changed even after Turner had career-highs in points and rebounds per game.

Davis played 99% of his 1,904 minutes at center this season, by far a career-high. If the Lakers acquired Turner, Davis would naturally slot as the four, the position he spent almost all of the 2019-20 season in. Having a rim-protecting center next to Davis is a recipe that’s proven to be successful.

However, contrary to JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, Turner can spread the floor, shooting 37% from deep last season. That allows a smoother partnership between the two big men with Davis staying in the paint and Turner mixing it up from inside and out.

If the front office begins discussions to acquire Turner, it will be just another chapter in the Turner-Lakers saga.

Dennis Schroder believes he made things right in second stint with Lakers

The biggest motivation for Dennis Schroder’s return to L.A. was unfinished business. His first tenure with the purple and gold ended poorly with a first-round exit against the Phoenix Suns. After the Lakers run to the Western Conference Finals, Schroder said he believes he made things right the second time around in L.A.

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