25-year-old Myles Turner caused a major stir online after sharing some thoughts about his role in Indiana.
Speaking candidly, he told the media that he was itching to become more than just a role player for the team, going so far as to say that he doesn't feel like the franchise sees him as anything more than a typical rotational player.
“It’s clear that I’m not valued as anything more than a glorified role player here, and I want something more, more opportunity,” Turner told Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I’m trying really hard to make the role that I’m given here work and find a way to maximize it. I’ve been trying to the past two, three seasons. But it’s clear to me that, just numbers-wise, I’m not valued as more than a rotational role player, and I hold myself in a higher regard than that.”
“I’ve been given many roles in the years that I’ve been here, and I feel like I’ve been able to produce at a high level in the roles I’ve been given,” Turner said. “I’ve shown that I can do the things they ask me to do, and I think it’s time to put that all together and be a more prominent night-in, night-out guy on the offensive side of the ball instead of someone who is asked to be a floor spacer and hide in the shadows.”
Following Indiana's game on Friday, Turner took the time to clear the air and clarify his earlier statement.
As it turns out, his loyalty to the Pacers is not in jeopardy.
"All that was, was me saying, 'I know my worth.' I hold myself to a high regard, and I expressed that. ...By no means was this article or quote a shot at anybody in the organization. ...I was just expressing the way I felt."
Turner, a 2x Block leader, is in his 7th season with the Pacers. After being drafted 11th overall in 2015, he has become one of the premier rim protectors in the NBA.
This season, he's averaging 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game on 53% shooting. With more minutes and additional opportunities on offense, he could do even more.