Myles Turner has agreed to a two-year, $58 million contract extension with the Indiana Pacers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The deal comes with an interesting and unique construction. Because the Pacers are under the salary cap, they can effectively front-load Turner’s new deal using the league’s renegotiate-and-extend mechanic.
While Turner has guaranteed himself $58 million in new money, he’ll get $17.1 million of it right away, through Indiana’s cap space. That means that the remaining money will be paid out over the two new seasons. According to Charania, he will make $20.9 million for the 2023-24 season and $19.9 million for the 2024-25 campaign. In other words, Indiana’s cap space is allowing the Pacers to keep Turner at cap figures well below what his market value suggests he should earn because they can add the rest of that money to his salary for this season when their roster is already set and the space is not needed for major moves.
Turner is having the best season of his career. With Domantas Sabonis in Sacramento, he has finally been able to play the center position full-time, and he’s averaging career-highs in both points (17.5) and rebounds (7.9) per game. He is also shooting a career-best 39.1 percent from 3-point range, and while his 2.4 blocks per game aren’t a career-best, they’re still enough to make him one of the best rim-protectors in the NBA.
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The Los Angeles Lakers, who sorely need interior defense and 3-point shooting, have been interested in Turner for some time. A rumored deal involving Turner, Buddy Hield and Russell Westbrook had been on the table for months, but with the Lakers apparently unwilling to give up two unprotected first-round picks, the Pacers have seemingly moved on with this Turner extension. At 24-27, Indiana is currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
Coming into the season, the Pacers were projected by the Las Vegas books to finish dead last in the Eastern Conference. They haven’t, and that’s thanks in large part to Turner’s contributions on both ends of the floor. With Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin emerging as cornerstones as well, the Pacers have their core locked up for the next few seasons.