Starting center Myles Turner said Wednesday that he's confident the Indiana Pacers will be a top-eight team in the Eastern Conference when the 2017-18 regular season ends in April.
"I feel like we’re definitely going to be overlooked this year," Turner told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "A lot of people look at us as young team that's going to rebuild, but we’re a young team that's trying to compete. We've got a lot of guys who can come in and make an impact right away. I expect to make the playoffs this year."
The Pacers will have a different look for the upcoming season after Paul George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jeff Teague signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves and CJ Miles was sign-and-traded to the Toronto Raptors.
The Pacers' key additions this offseason have been TJ Leaf (draft), Bojan Bogdanovic (free agency), Darren Collison (free agency), Cory Joseph (trade), Victor Oladipo (trade) and Domantas Sabonis (trade).
With so many newcomers on the Pacers, Turner, 21, plans to have a strong voice in the locker room.
"I want to start establishing myself as a leader in this league and on this team," Turner said. "I know I'm quite young compared to a lot of guys on this team, but the best time is to start young."
Turner played in 81 games last season and averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
-- Nick Silva