Paul George is still on the Pacers, technically, although his desire to play elsewhere is well-known throughout the NBA.
Myles Turner, meanwhile, isn't waiting around. He's already laid claim to the primary leadership role within the locker room, via both words and actions, and the Pacers' coaching staff and front office welcomes it.
"He's already trying to assume that role, and we like that in him," assistant coach Popeye Jones said Wednesday, following the morning practice session in preparation for Summer League play in Orlando.
"He's looking forward to it. He's been around every day with these guys."
Turner, who turned 21 barely more than three months ago, was in Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the workout, and has been a regular presence within the building in recent weeks. He even addressed the collection of hopefuls at their introductory meeting, telling them he would be going to Orlando to support them.
Turner has been active on social media since word leaked that George wanted out, and gives a clear impression that he embraces the opportunity awaiting him. Unless free agent C.J. Miles is re-signed, Turner – a veteran of just two NBA seasons -- will be the longest-tenured Pacers players among the current players. Lance Stephenson played four seasons before leaving in free agency three years ago, then returned to the team last season.
"Without a doubt. I've had two years of experience and I know that's not a whole lot, but with (what I've done) in that little sample size, I feel like I'm ready to take on more," he said. "I want to become a leader – why not start early? I'm really looking forward to our future. I feel like with the right pieces, we can go young and build for the future. And I'm ready to lead this young movement."
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