In a bit of surprise news, Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers agreed to a contract extension ahead of today’s 6 p.m. deadline with a 4-year, $72 million deal that could go as high as $80 million with bonuses according to ESPN and The Athletic.
This avoids the Pacers needing to deal with restricted free agency next summer and avoids someone coming in with a mammoth offer to try and pry the big man away from Indiana. And for Turner, it puts to rest any worries about getting his next contract.
It ends up being a fairly similar deal to Clint Capela’s 5-year, $90 million contract that he signed this summer. No options have been reported.
This will be a big year for him now to prove he’s worth the new contract. Will he make a leap?
While $18 million per season may sound like a lot, the salary cap is much higher than it was just a few seasons ago when Roy Hibbert was making $15 million per season. And with many teams expected to have a lot of cap space next year, it’s very possible another team may have offered a huge deal to Turner as a RFA.
Even with adding Turner to the guaranteed salaries for next season, the Pacers still will have well over $30 million in cap space next summer.
And while the Pacers also have another center in Domas Sabonis that will be looking for his own rookie extension potentially at this time next year, this doesn’t mean the Pacers won’t be looking to re-sign Sabonis as well.
It’s an important bet for the Pacers on Turner as his development could help put Indiana at another level in the conference than another first-round exit.
If Turner can improve as his contract progresses, his deal could look like a bargain much like Victor Oladipo’s $21 million per year is seen as a bargain now after being seen as a salary dump initially by some media when he was acquired by the Pacers.