Pacers exercise third-year option on Myles Turner’s rookie deal

Myles Turner was drafted by the Pacers 11th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Myles Turner was drafted by the Pacers 11th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Myles Turner isn’t going anywhere. But you already knew that.

The Pacers officially exercised their team option on the third year of the 20-year-old’s rookie deal, the team announced Thursday.

“Myles is going to be spectacular this year,” Larry Bird, the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations, said last month. “He’s making a major leap.”

Turner can earn up to $2,463,840 this season with bonuses for his work over the summer. This option — which had to be exercised by Oct. 31 — for the third year of his four-year rookie deal is worth $2,569,920 for the 2017-18 season.

“I see a kid that continues to grow and mature and get better,” coach Nate McMillan said last month before training camp. “He is working on his game. He has been since the end of the playoffs last year. I think Myles may have taken a couple weeks off this offseason, but he has been in the gym putting in time, just working on the things that we’ve talked about and what he experienced last season.”

During his rookie season, Turner averaged 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in 60 appearances, including 30 starts. He was voted to the All-Rookie Second Team, and likely would have been part of the First Team if not for a bone-chip fracture in his left thumb that required surgery, and cost him 21 games.

He impressed NBA observers in July while playing with USA Basketball’s Select Team, challenging the Olympic Team prior to the Rio Olympics. Paul George even had teammates from the gold medal team mention how Turner could have played with them.

“He will learn as he gets more minutes,” McMillan said at media day. “His approach, his attitude, his work ethic, his passion for the game and wanting to be good, is very similar to LaMarcus Aldridge when I had him. The guy stays in the gym, he wants to be good. I think he could be an All-Star one day. I think you just have to let him find his way.”

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