Pacers pick up fourth-year option on Myles Turner’s rookie deal

The Pacers officially picked up the fourth-year option on Myles Turner’s rookie deal for the 2018-19 season, Kevin Pritchard said.

“Yes, that did happen,” the Pacers President of Basketball Operations confirmed.

It’s not a surprise and was simply a formality. The team had until Oct. 16 but they wasted no time making it official back on August 21, according to’s transaction page.

Still, this is a business so Turner said it was nice to physically receive a letter of notification earlier this summer.

“You can never assume anything,” he said. “It’s always refreshing just to see it first-hand. To know this organization has my back and has a great deal of respect for me, that’s all I can ask for.”

He’ll earn $3.4 million for the final year of his rookie deal. One of the top priorities early next summer will be signing Turner to a contract extension.

The 21-year-old center was drafted 11th overall in 2015 out of the University of Texas. He’s one of six players returning from the 2016-17 roster that went 42-40 and was swept in Round 1 of the playoffs. He averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game last year playing in all but one regular season game.

Because of the influx of roster changes over the last several years, Turner — at two years — is the longest-tenured player on the roster.

“When I heard that this summer,” he said, “‘I was like ‘Wow.’ These guys gave me a chance and I’ve been running with him. I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. This is my team, this is my squad.”

A perfect example of that was in July during Orlando Summer League. Turner made a point of hanging around, even traveling to Florida to be with and support the team for its first several games.

Oh, and he’s beginning his second season with his own fan section at home games, Turner’s Block.

The Pacers highlighted fan favorite Lance Stephenson during the new uniform unveiling in July, but it was Turner, a Nike-sponsored player, who represented the team in Hollywood for Nike’s official event to kick off their partnership with the NBA.

With four-time NBA All-Star Paul George being dealt to Oklahoma City and a roster dominated by newcomers, it’s easy to wonder who the new face of the franchise is.


“It’s hard to say “the face of a team,” he said. “Me being here the longest, the fans resonating with me quite well, it’s easy [to call me] the face of the organization. But it’s a team, man; it’s not just one guy out here. Obviously I want to step into this leadership role and become that guy, but Vic’s a hell of a player, D.C. (Darren Collison) is a hell of a player. All of these guys can come out here and play. D.C. has been here, Lance has been here.

“It’s hard to say [I’m] the face of the franchise, but I do like being one of the guys that’s recognized in this program.”

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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