NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The Indiana Pacers have locked up center Myles Turner to a new four-year deal. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Pacers have agreed to terms with the center on a four-year, $80 million extension.
The No. 11 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Turner is an elite rim protector. He posted a career-high 2.1 blocks per contest last season. His skills as an interior defender make this move a no-brainer for the Pacers.
Turner has also established himself as a strong two-way player who can stretch the floor. He is coming off a career-best season from behind the arc, making 35.7 percent of his three-pointers. Turner’s ability to stretch the floor is a key reason the Pacers believe he is worthy of a new contract.
The 22-year-old 6’11” big man averaged 12.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 65 games with the Pacers in 2017-18, his third year in the league.
Over the offseason, Turner worked to retool his body. He told the Indianapolis Star that he increased his weight to 255 pounds, but cut his body fat in half from 14 percent.
While Turner remains intent on further developing his jumper in a league where most big men are expected to shoot from the outside regularly, he worked particularly hard to gain strength in hopes of becoming a more physical center who can be relied upon to attack the glass, rebound consistently and dominate inside the paint.