Can Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and Goga Bitadze all co-exist?
Regardless of what the Pacers are saying, they currently have three centers that either are of starting quality or project to be. None of them are power forwards.
Myles Turner is definitely a center, and so is Domantas Sabonis. We don’t know a lot about Goga Bitadze yet, but as far as I can tell, he is one, too.
But’s let’s go to the quote, as for one last time, we go to Pacers.com:
“Can all three of these guys exist?” Pritchard said. “There’s no doubt. I’m not in the business of making a pick to move that guy. I want him as a Pacer and I want to see how he turns out.
“I love the fact that Domas has grown up a Pacer, except for one year (in Oklahoma City). Myles has grown up a Pacer and has become a really good player. And they’re both 23. I want this kid to be a Pacer. I did not pick him to gather an asset.”
Coach Nate McMillan, meanwhile, is pondering ways to keep them all involved.
“I’ve been thinking about it all night long, and will continue to think about it throughout the summer,” he said.
Sorry, I don’t believe they can. I believe the Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers want to make them work, but I’m not so sure they will.
Let’s just start with the Turner and Sabonis paring we saw last year. When they shared the court, they did have a positive net rating at 2.8, it conceals some of the offensive issues.
Indiana never quite figured out how to space the floor with both of them sharing it. Often Turner was in the paint in the dunker spot while Sabonis was up top running a pick and roll action. Without one of them out there spacing the floor, it got pretty crowded down there quick.
And in the playoffs against a Boston Celtics team with time to scout them out, they were effectively unplayable together with a -27.6 net rating. I’m not sure which part was worse, the 81.5 offensive rating or the fact they couldn’t stop the Celtics at all, as Boston posted a 109.1 offensive rating of their own.
Perhaps adding more scorers this offseason can alleviate those issues, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
And with adding Bitadze, the problem only gets compounded once he develops into a starting quality center.
Maybe Indiana can keep Turner and Sabonis on the floor, but keeping them and Bitadze on it in the coming years is an impossible feat.