Myles Turner Introductory Press Conference

June 26, 2015 - Pacers first round draft pick Myles Turner meets with the Indianapolis media for the first time.

Draft Night 2015

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Myles Turner Introductory Press Conference

June 26, 2015 - Pacers first round draft pick Myles Turner meets with the Indianapolis media for the first time.
Jun 26, 2015  |  08:17

Myles Turner Twitter Q-and-A

June 26, 2015 - Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss hosts a Twitter Q-and-A with Pacers first round draft pick Myles Turner on his first day in Indianapolis.
Jun 26, 2015  |  06:26

A Day in the Life: Myles Turner

June 26, 2015 - Pacers.com gives you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at first round draft pick Myles Turner's first day in Indiana.
Jun 26, 2015  |  02:52

Bird Press Conference: 2015 NBA Draft

June 25, 2015 - Pacers President Larry Bird talks to the media about the selection of Myles Turner and Joseph Young as Indiana's 11th and 43rd picks, respectively.
Jun 26, 2015  |  07:00

Denari and Johnson Weigh in on Pacers Draft

June 25, 2015 - FOX Sports Indiana's Chris Denari and Jeremiah Johnson analyze on the 2015 NBA Draft and the Pacers picking Myles Turner with the 11th overall pick.
Jun 26, 2015  |  01:41

Myles Turner: "Indiana is Basketball Country"

June 25, 2015 - Myles Turner talks with Pacers.com in the immediate aftermath of being drafted by Indiana with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Jun 25, 2015  |  00:28

Vogel on Draft Pick: "Turner has potential to be a great player"

June 25, 2015 - Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss talks to head coach Frank Vogel after the Pacers select Myles Turner with the 11th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Jun 25, 2015  |  02:36

Draft Night: Myles Turner Speaks with Media

June 25, 2015 - Pacers draft pick Myles Turner speaks on a teleconference with media assembled at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Note: All photos provided by Getty Images
Jun 25, 2015  |  07:53

Vogel Press Conference: 2015 NBA Draft

June 25, 2015 - Pacers head coach Frank Vogel talks to the media about the Pacers' selection of Myles Turner with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Jun 25, 2015  |  13:26

2015 Pacers Draft Party

June 25, 2015 - Pacers.com's Pat Boylan reports from the 2015 Pacers Draft Party at Latitude 360.
Jun 26, 2015  |  03:04

Draft Workouts: Myles Turner

June 14, 2015 - Texas forward Myles Turner talks to Pacers.com after a pre-draft workout with the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Jun 14, 2015  |  02:06

2015 NBA Draft: Pick 11

The Indiana Pacers select Myles Turner with the eleventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Jun 25, 2015  |  01:14

2015 NBA Draft: Pick 11

The Indiana Pacers select Myles Turner with the eleventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Jun 25, 2015  |  01:14

Draft Workouts: Joseph Young

May 18, 2015 - Oregon's Joseph Young talks with Pacers.com after a pre-draft workout.
May 18, 2015  |  02:52

Pacers Add Turner, Young in 2015 Draft

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

Superficially, it made little sense. The Pacers are supposed to be in this transition toward a smaller, faster team, so who do they take with the 11th pick in the NBA draft?

A muscular 6-11 guy with a "fantastic body" who supposedly doesn't run the court well.

Don't worry, Frank Vogel and Larry Bird said.

"There's two types of ways to play small," the Pacers' coach said after University of Texas center Myles Turner was added to an in-flux roster Thursday evening. "You can play small at the four or play small at the five. I don't envision us playing center-less basketball.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pacers Draft Myles Turner »

"Playing fast is also about trying to play with more space. If you can have a rim-protector like him who can shoot with range, he'll contribute to what we're trying to do on the offensive end."

The Pacers drafted Oregon guard Joseph Young with their second-round pick.

Bird said he liked Indianapolis product Trey Lyles, and considered drafting him, but with Paul George likely to play more power forward next season – which would be Lyles' position – he wanted to go with a bigger player who can play center, at least some of the time. The Pacers' final four choices appear to have come down to four "bigs:" Frank Kaminsky, Willie Caulie-Stein, Turner and Lyles. Kaminsky and Caulie-Stein were gone by the time the Pacers got their turn.

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"We loved Trey Lyles," Bird said. "That was a guy we were very, very high on. But just knowing Paul's going to play a lot of four, Turner was our guy."

Turner was rated a top ten prospect in his high school class, as high as No. 2 by ESPN, but averaged "just" 10.1 points at Texas in his only college season. He led the conference in blocked shots (2.6) and showed NBA 3-point range, although his accuracy was spotty. He's regarded as a solid mid-range shooter who can play a forward position as well as center, and is as capable defensively as offensively.

"His ability to protect the rim is off the charts," Bird said.

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Vogel praised him for his character, work ethic, IQ and body – pretty much the standard analysis of a just-drafted player, although it's a consensus opinion of Turner. One thing that stood out about Turner above all other draft candidates in his workout with the Pacers, though, was his level of engagement. He asked questions – "good questions, too" according to Vogel – during and after the session. He's also engaging with reporters. In a conference call Thursday evening, he even apologized for saying "um" a few times.

The primary knock against him has been his running form and speed, which is a bit of a strange concern about a 19-year-old 7-footer who's still growing into his body. Turner was described as "lumbering" up and down the floor at Texas, and the concerns mounted to the point his agent felt the need to address them by having Turner go to a New York hospital and be examined. No structural issues were found, and Turner was put on a workout schedule to strengthen his glutes, hips and core muscles.

A 27-page report was issued to every NBA team to tamp down concerns. Bird said he has none about Turner's mobility or ability to run the court.

"That's no problem at all," he said. "His running is fine. He's been working hard on it. He just turned 19 years old."

"We talked to our training staff, they've examined it, and he's doing some things to change his running style," Vogel said.

Turner, who has a 7-foot-4 wingspan, is far from a finished product physically, but has a good foundation to begin an NBA career. He at least looks far more ready for league warfare than most 19-year-olds. Vogel praised his body five times in his comments with the media.

Turner isn't likely to get major minutes as a rookie, regardless of how the rest of the roster shakes down, but will be counted upon to play some as a rookie and become a starter in two or three years. He's a late-bloomer who didn't begin taking basketball seriously until his sophomore year of high school. That, combined with his age, leaves plenty of room for growth.

"Obviously he's going to take some time," Vogel said. "We feel his upside is two years or three years from now. But we do feel he can contribute this year with the way we want to play."

"Just watching his growth in the last nine months is pretty impressive," Bird added. "Around All-Star break (next season) we think he'll be a lot better than he is now."

Young, a 6-2 combo guard, also should fit the plan to play faster. He was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year and averaged a league-best 20.7 points last season. He scored 30 in his final game against Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pacers Draft Joseph Young »

He's athletic and shoots well – .925 from the foul line last season – but dropped to the second round because of his size and lack of point guard experience.

"He's going to push the ball and make shots," Bird said. "We liked Joe all year. We were pretty surprised he'd be there.

"Hopefully we can get the ball up and down the court a little faster."

Second-round picks are never locks to make an NBA team, but Young appears to have a better chance than most. The Pacers have just one point guard under contract next season, George Hill.

"I like him; I really like him," Bird said. "I think he's got a good opportunity to make our team."

*

Despite media reports that David West will opt out of his contract and Roy Hibbert will opt in and play another season for the Pacers, Bird said he has received no indication from either player or his representation.

"I don't know what they're going to do," he said. "It's their decision and they'll make that decision."

"We expect them both to opt-in."

The deadline for an announcement is June 29.

*

Vogel said Paul George is claiming to be 100 percent physically and "looks really good." George is working out in Los Angeles this summer, but was at The Fieldhouse last week and worked out for the Pacers' coaches.

"He's looked really good in individual workouts," Vogel said.

"He still has a long way to go, but he's looking really good right now."


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