Why Trading Danny Granger Doesn't Make Any Sense for the Pacers

Before the start of the season many people assumed Danny Granger would be one of the guys to get traded before the deadline. There were many reasons supporting this outlook, with a few being:

  • The additions of Solomon Hill and Chris Copeland (both naturally small forwards) in the offseason. We all knew Granger could play some small ball power forward, but the addition of Luis Scola pretty much erased the idea of Danny playing the position too often.
  • There’s no way the Pacers would be able to keep Granger, who’s deal expires this summer, after this year due to Paul George’s new max contract kicking into gear next season. Throw in the emergence of Lance Stephenson (and the need to re-sign him in the 2014 summer), and why not try trading Granger this season to get something for him before you lose him for nothing?
  • He is on an expiring contract, which could be a very valuable resource in trades.

There were a bunch more reasons but those are were the main ones.

One of the main trade proposals that amateur GMs threw around was Danny Granger for Jamal Crawford. This made some sense since the Clippers didn’t really have any good forwards on their bench besides Matt Barnes. Meanwhile, Indiana had no scoring punch in its backcourt bench. It sounded like a potentially good trade for both sides because the Clippers would still have J.J. Reddick and the Pacers still have Solomon Hill and Cope.

There’s one problem with the trade, though: It puts the Clippers around 7.3 million over the luxury tax and they’d need to add a player(s) earning that much this season to the trade.

But just for the heck of it let’s say that trade works out for both teams. The Pacers have still got a big problem.

Lance Stephenson’s contract runs out this offseason and, as of now, the Pacers will be paying around $65 million in total payroll for the 2014-15 season, according to Shamsports. The estimated luxury tax threshold next season is $75 million. Now add in Jamal Crawford’s $5 million salary for next year to the Pacers’ payroll and that will put them at around $70 million, leaving them only around $5 million under the luxury tax. That’s not going to be anywhere near enough to sign Lance next year — and with the way Lance has been playing recently, even being $10 million under the tax line will be cutting it close.

So in other words there are only two ways the Pacers can trade Granger: Either give up on re-signing Stephenson next season already (and go all in on this season) or try to find a team that has a player the Pacers could use this season, with an expiring contract to trade for.

Let’s say you did want to try and trade Granger’s expiring contract for another player who is both on an expiring contract and can be a spark off the bench this season. Well you run into another problem. There aren’t many guys with an expiring contract that are around the same value as Danny Granger. Have a look for yourself at all the expiring contracts and you’ll see that there are only players above or below Danny’s value. The closest trade I could find that worked for both teams was Danny Granger for Evan Turner. The Pacers would probably need to throw in a first round pick, and even then I don’t see the Sixers accepting that trade with Turner playing well this season.

Most importantly of all, give this article by Tim Donahue a read.

Even if there were feasible trade offers out there for Granger, it becomes very difficult to see why you would consider one after seeing how much Granger still means to this team.

Summary: There’s no trade involving Danny Granger that would make sense for both teams, and the Pacers have no real reason to consider moving a guy who will still be so helpful — tangibly and intangibly — to this year’s championship hopes. Worst-case scenario is that they let his contract expire. And then if Lance takes his talents elsewhere for more money, the Pacers can perhaps re-sign Danny on the cheap instead.

"Wait? You still think Indiana will trade Danny Granger? Well, um ..."

“Wait? You still think Indiana will trade Danny Granger? Well, um …”

Tags: Rumor Mill Shutdown

  • Derek U

    I was big on the trade Danny train last year, but this year it makes no sense. The team was almost flawless with out him and with him they’re just a deeper beast that teams like the Heat wont be able to match up on.

  • Jamie Rehmel

    I think it’s funny that some are so preoccupied with trading Granger. This is one of the few years that I have felt completely content with the roster as is; my biggest concern moving forward is resigning Lance. Trading Granger would almost certainly do nothing to help.

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  • 15points126seconds

    I think most Pacers fan have already come around to the idea that it doesnt make sense for the team to trade granger this year, and have accepted this is probably our last season with DG. Its the national media types (Bill&Jalen) that keep pressing for it, without realizing there isnt a good move out there

    • 15points126seconds

      although i’ll admit i did think about the ludicrous rondo for granger+hill rumors that circulated in December…

      • Todd

        I know that there are some Hill lovers on here. I am a Hill “liker” lol. He plays solid D. And he does hit big shots. But in crucial situations he turns ball over, and I just see too many 4-11 stat lines, which I guess is okay for the defense he plays. It just scares me. I floated the idea of Lance at point and CWat at the backup on the cheap and trading Hill, which is probably even more far fetched, but makes more sense money wise. I hear people all the time say (Pacer and non Pacer fans) But hill was such a good BACK-UP to Tony Parker. Exactly…

        • Derek Cooper

          I wish g.hill could be our backup pg + come in with the attack mode__earlier this yr he had a few 10 assist games (I think he improoved over the summer) and of course he can score__I understand w/starters he has to let paul+lance do their thing….and I agree they’re more talented…but as a back-up we’d get so much more production out of the 8m we pay him. His current starting role makes his salary seem goofy. Of coarse lance starting at point would have some growing pains and all but id be inclined to roll the dice with it…..hey half a season til playoffs to grow…

          • 15points126seconds

            as good as he’s become, i hesitate making lance the focal point ball handler. let him push the tempo, and split with hill as he’s done so well. i like the balance as is. what we have is working, why make a change for the sake of a change?

  • Flamez

    Keep Granger this year and see if he gets better. If he can keep up with the the top tier sf’s defensively, sign him to a 5mil per year deal. Cut Scolas contract next year and sign Stephenson to a 9-10 mil a year contract. Copeland is bulking up for that backup PF spot next year. Sign one big man for the vet minimum

    • AMF1322

      Cope it’s a low IQ player, and he has shown over and over that he has no clue how to play in this system, or at least, which position fits better for him. He have tried to drive to the basket some times in a 1-on-1 situation, never turning around and putting his back to the basket. In this team, the PF run to the basket AFTER a p’n’r, not on 1-on-1. Frank likes to play 2 bigs. Cope is not a big, either in offense or deffense. And he’s too slow for playing SF. He can be a stretch-4 in a faster team. Maybe he would fit better on PHO, or MIN, even in Dallas (for Wayne Ellington? We could add O.J., Carlisle would make him play well somehow). I know Scola is even older than David West, but he’s almost 50% from mid. That’s almost a Nowitzkinian number. Cope just doesn’t fit. Can’t pass the ball, can’t move well (Scola has came off a screan in some plays), can’t defend ANYONE, and he’s not a young guy neither (almost 30). I prefer a champion as Scola, instead of having an uncomfortable Copeland and, let’s say, Gooden?

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