On Thursday, Feb. 20, the Indiana Pacers made the biggest news at the trade deadline. Indiana traded away forward Danny Granger for guard Evan Turner and forward Lavoy Allen. It was a move that many people didn’t see coming. However, some of the fans wanted Granger to be gone last season.
Last season, fans called for Granger to be traded either at the deadline or in the offseason. Many felt that Granger had nothing left in the tank and was washed up. In the 2012-2013 season, Granger only played 5 games due to patellar tendinosis. Fans thought that he should retire
This season, Granger made his season debut against the Houston Rockets. In 22 minutes, Granger recorded 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Since then, Granger has been coming off the bench with the emergence of guard Lance Stephenson.
Granger has not really been a huge benefactor for Indiana since his injury, so it was a matter of time till fans saw Indiana do anything with Granger.
However, no one saw the trade involving Turner coming.
Trading for Turner not only helps Indiana’s bench but it gives them some viable options for the future.
One, giving up Granger’s contract allows more money to go into the offseason in order to sign Stephenson for a long-term deal. Many believe that signing Stephenson for the long run might be difficult due to his quick rise of stardom. Stephenson’s rise to fame is credited to Larry Bird and how he’s help mature Stephenson. By trading away Granger, this allows more money to go towards Stephenson.
Two, if Indiana cannot sign Stephenson this off-season, then they have a very capable shooting guard in Turner. In Philadelphia, Turner has helped the team despite their abysmal season so far. Turner this year has had averaged a season best 17.4 points per game and a .829 shooting percentage. Pacers fans of course want to see Stephenson stay in Indiana. However, if they do lose Stephenson, Turner is fully capable of filling in Stephenson’s shoes.
Third, the bench improves immensely. Turner, C.J. Watson, Luis Scola, Andrew Bynum and Ian Mahinmi. That’s huge. I cannot thing of a deeper bench in the NBA. This is the bench Indiana needs to advance in the Eastern Conference and to possible advance in the NBA Finals. It is deadly what Indiana could do with their bench for the rest of the season. Granger was fine as a bench player, but this is just a huge improvement from Granger for Indiana.
As you can guess, this is a huge step up for Indiana with a lot of potential upside. One worry is how will Turner feel coming off the bench instead of starting. Turner was a starter in Philadelphia, but he was not going to be a winner there. I hope Turner can adapt to the bench role and still have a major impact.
What Indiana fans don’t want to see happen is Granger join the Miami Heat. There is a rumor going around that Granger’s contract will be bought out by Philadelphia and he will join Miami. I don’t know how much of an impact he will have in Miami but that could be an issue for Indiana.
I feel bad that Indiana had to get rid of Granger, as the old saying goes “it’s just business,” I would have liked to see Granger win a title in Indiana. Granger has been a huge part for Indiana his whole career. It’s now time to move on and look forward to the future.