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Swartz: Could Blazers Trade Back in Draft to Acquire Myles Turner?

This idea probably isn’t the big swing fans and the front office are hoping for with the coveted No. 3 pick.

Portland Trail Blazers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With less than a week before the NBA Draft, reports continue to emphasize the Portland Trail Blazers’ aggressiveness to take a big swing on the trade market with the No. 3 overall pick.

As that level of hype sprouts Rip City dreams of acquiring All-Star talents such as Zion Williamson, Jaylen Brown and Pascal Siakam, this latest trade idea from Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz might not satisfy the Blazers front office and fans.

Swartz suggests Portland could use that prized No. 3 pick and center Jusuf Nurkic to trade for the Indiana Pacers’ No. 7 pick and center Myles Turner.

If the Blazers want to continue to add veteran, defensive help around Damian Lillard and the Pacers indeed wish to move up the draft board, swapping centers and picks makes sense for both sides here.

For the Blazers, Swartz writes the move would upgrade their center spot, while giving them the chance to still trade for additional talent or add a promising prospect to develop.

For Portland, Turner has long-been an ideal center to place next to Lillard. The Blazers finished 27th overall defensively last season (119.1 rating) even after adding Jerami Grant. Turner has ranked in the 90th, 93rd and 74th percentile in defensive swing rating the past three seasons and is one of the league’s best shot-blockers.

The Blazers would still have the No. 7 overall pick to use a trade bait to upgrade the roster, or simply make the selection and go into training camp with another young, talented player like last season with Shaedon Sharpe.

On Indiana’s side, Swartz writes the move would allow them to build on a formidable young core with Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson, while still maintaining a more than serviceable center in Nurkic.

Starting with Indiana, jumping from No. 7 to No. 3 guarantees the Pacers the chance at either Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson, players they can add to a core of Tyrese Haliburton and Ben Mathurin. Miller is the better fit for Indiana, although players like Cam Whitmore or Jarace Walker, who may not be around at No. 7, could be options if Miller goes second overall.

Nurkić, 28, isn’t the rim-protector or three-point shooter that Turner is, but he’s a solid starting NBA center who averaged 13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and shot 51.9 percent overall in his 26.8 minutes a night.

Myles Turner has long been connected to the Blazers in trade rumors. He would give them a plus at the center position with more athleticism, rim protection and consistent 3-point shooting. The 6-foot-11 pivot averaged 18 points last season, along with 37.3% shooting on four 3-point attempts per game. But he’s also not as good a passer as Nurkic and more importantly, not as good a rebounder. Turner averaged 7.5 rebounds per game last season, a career high. If both your starting center and starting power forward in Jerami Grant aren’t considered strong rebounders, that could spell big trouble for Portland.

For that issue, along with the lofty value of a top three pick in this draft, a center/pick swap with the Pacers would seem like a letdown on draft night.