The idea that the Pacers would move Danny Granger has never held much water. The team still struggles to put points on the board, and Danny is its best shooter (and perhaps scorer). He is also the captain and the guy who has been here through all the down years.
Perhaps even more preposterous is that a bunch of teams around the league are pining to trade for a player who hasn’t played a game this season while collecting checks that will pay him $13 million this season. Perhaps a contender would love to integrate his long-range scorer into their offense, but what contender has something of valuing lying around that they can part with in order to complete the trade? And what non-contender would legitimately want the privilege of giving up assets just to pay an aging scorer with knee issues $14 million next season?
Still, people being people, the scuttlebutt surrounding a potential trade of Danny Granger has been relentless for, oh, like three years now. Paul George is the wing of the future, so goes the argument, so why do you need Granger anymore?
Looking past the obvious (teams have to start multiple perimeter players in every game and it helps their chances if all of those players are very good), there was still never a time when George was better than Granger. That definitely changed this year, as Paul now looks like one of the best two-way wings in the NBA.
But while the Pacers do have some long-term salary cap complications in the future, there is no imminent issues that need to be fixed. Also, the team legitimately thinks it has a shot to beat the Heat this season and it currently lacks depth. Granger returning to the lineup would help mitigate that concern more so than any trade could. He knows the offense, the personnel, the coaches, the building, the rims. There should be minimal reintegration issues despite all the talk about how the on-court chemistry could be skewed when Danny returns.
Still, the talk has persisted.
Today, Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, a wonderful reporter, wrote a story about how some people believe Granger is no longer “untouchable.” He reported that this was the view rival executives.
The Pacers no longer consider Danny Granger untouchable, according to rival executives. Granger could be moved: tinyurl.com/abjvgv5
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 20, 2013
Now, there is no reason to doubt Alex. He is a connected guy with a good track record.
This was something he was certainly told by some executive with another NBA team.
But Kevin Pritchard, one of the Pacers’ two decision makers in terms of personnel moves, had a message for Mr. Kennedy.
@alexkennedynba That executive would be wrong!!!
— Kevin Pritchard (@PacersKev) February 20, 2013
This makes three things abundantly clear: (1) 2013 is strange, (2) Twitter is neat, and (3) Danny Granger isn’t going anywhere. So please, people, I beg of you, stop asking me questions. Kevin Pritchard has already told you the answer.
As for other moves the team might make before the deadline, there is always a possibility. The roster has flaws and could definitely use another big man off the bench, a shooter or perhaps an upgrade at backup point guard (particularly someone with size).
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star gave his take on the likelihood of the Pacers making a deal before tomorrow’s trade deadline.
At this point there’s only about a 20 percent chance that the Pacers make a trade. Their deadline move will be getting Granger back
— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) February 21, 2013
There you have it: Granger will remain a Pacer and, Wells says, there is a 1-in-5 shot the team does anything. I wouldn’t expect much.