Myles Turner Should Have Been a Top 5 Pick in Last Year’s Draft

Myles Turner’s rookie season had its ups and downs, but so far through his sophomore season, he is proving he should have been at least top 10 draft pick.

Ten other players had their names called before Myles Turner at the 2015 NBA Draft.  When the Indiana Pacers picked at No. 11, they took the lanky freshman from the University of Texas that faced questions about his shooting, running gait, and if he could handle the physical play of the NBA.

That pick is the steal of the 2015 draft.

If teams were to pick again, there is no doubt Turner would be in the top 10, and possibly the top 5. It is hard to put him ahead of Karl-Antony Town or Kristaps Porzingis, but after those two it isn’t absurd to put Turner as high as third, fourth, or fifth depending on your feelings about him, D’Angelo Russell, and Devin Booker.

While players like Wiley Cauley-Stein and Frank Kaminsky are finding their footing in the NBA, Myles is thriving and making an impact with the Indiana Pacers.

Just looking at the counting stats from this season, Turner iranks fourth at 15.3 points a game, shooting 53.3% from the field and 36.5% from 3-point range. He also ranks fourth in rebounds with 7.3 a game.

As far as those shooting and scoring numbers go, it is worth noting Turner is 7th in field goals attempted among sophomores and shooting 6 or 7 fewer times a game than Towns and Porzingis.

And his offensive game is expanding already this season. Right after we asked if he should start shooting more 3-pointers, he did just that. And not only is he averaging one more attempt a game than the first 18 games, he went from shooting below 30% to start the season to making 41.9% on 3-pointers in the month of December.

His averages are solid, but we also know he can go off for 30 points and 16 rebounds like he did in the season opener.

While Turner makes a significant impact on offense despite shooting less than some of his contemporaries, he also makes one of the biggest impacts defensively of his draft class.

Despite only being 20-years old, the Pacers rely on him as the last line of defense as their primary rim defender. Unfortunately thanks to the Pacers’ leaky defense, he faces more shots at the rim than anyone else, but on the positive side of things, he is around the league average as far as opponents shooting percentages at the rim goes. He could do better, but not having as many players getting open drives at him would give us a better idea of how well he is doing.

But there is one thing we know he does well on defense with absolute certainty: blocks shots.

Not all of them are as dominant as stealing the ball out of Tarik Black’s hands, but 2.4 blocks a game he ranks third in the NBA among all players, not just sophomores.

Things like his pick and roll defense are still improving, but it is entirely reasonable to expect him to improve in that area.

All this adds up to a solid investment by the Indiana Pacers. For what it is worth, Turner ranks third in win shares in this sophomore class, a sign that even if his stats aren’t as high as some of his classmates, he’s making a bigger impact.

One way or another, Myles Turner is the future of the Indiana Pacers, and it is safe to say at least five other teams wish now they would have made him part of theirs.

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