Potential Knicks trade target Myles Turner out with worrying foot injury

·2 min read

NEW YORK — Trading for Myles Turner just got more dangerous.

The Pacers center, who was available in the market and targeted by the Knicks, has a “stress reaction” in his left foot, the team announced Tuesday. Such a diagnosis — which was uncovered by “multiple specialists,” according to the Pacers — can be a precursor to a stress fracture.

A 7-footer with foot problems is a precarious mix.

Turner, 25, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the Pacers said, but he’s expected to be sidelined past the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Indiana, which is open to dealing some of its core pieces amid a disappointing season, was searching for a haul for Turner but will now either have to deal him for a discount or wait until the summer.

Turner is guaranteed $18 million next season. Barring an extension, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Turner is an obvious fit on the Knicks because he protects the rim and spaces the floor with a decent 3-point shot. But the Knicks are finally getting consistent production from their own young center, Mitchell Robinson, who has strung together five consecutive games before Tuesday with averages of 13.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 85% shooting.

It’s been a necessary contribution from Robinson because of the continued unreliability of Nerlens Noel, who signed a $27 million deal with the Knicks in the summer but has only played 18 games.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, Noel is signed through next season while Robinson becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Turner can also play power forward but Tom Thibodeau has earmarked the vast majority of minutes at that position to Julius Randle, who is signed for big money until 2026. The Pacers want to transition to a rebuild and are searching for draft picks and/or young prospects.

The Knicks have three first-round picks in the next two years plus three intriguing prospects: Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. This is assuming RJ Barrett is off the table.

The Knicks just unloaded a first-round pick, albeit heavily protected, to take a look at 22-year-old wing Cam Reddish. They have a glaring need at point guard because of injuries to Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose, but also are committed to $24 million next season to those veterans.

According to multiple reports, the Knicks are interested in acquiring point guard Jalen Brunson from the Mavericks. In that pursuit, Turner’s injury might be a help. The Mavericks were among the teams pursuing Turner and Brunson represented a potential piece to such a deal.

Especially for the Mavericks, who are trying to win this season with Luka Doncic running the show, dealing for an injured Turner makes little sense.

Brunson, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent after the season and desires a four-year, $80 million contract in the summer, according to Bleacher Report.