Feb 9, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel claps against the Orlando Magic during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: Moving Forward

Allow me to warn you before you continue reading this column: I’m going to be brutally honest, whether you agree or not. So without further ado, time for the Indiana Pacers to move on.

If you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, it’s the recent trade with Philadelphia that sent Danny Granger to the 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. My opinion on the trade is it benefits both teams, and if it didn’t, neither party would have gone through with it.

Only Pacers team president Larry Bird would make a move like this if he felt it was the right one and that it would make Indiana better. Give the Pacers a better chance at winning a title, period.

Now that it has sunk in for over 24 hours, I’ll admit I’ve heard nothing but praise on the trade from Pacers fans. Everyone I’ve talked to and heard from agrees it was a smart move. Sure, Granger was good to us, but let’s look at the big picture:

Granger signed a 5-year, $60 million deal with Indiana before the 2009-10 season. During his contract, Danny missed over 100 games due to injury. He played sparingly over the past two seasons, keeping in mind the Pacers advanced to the East finals last season without him. Granger made his money, and he’s much richer than probably everyone that’s going to read this article. And friends will not be lost over the deal, just to make that clear.

From 2009-2013, his scoring dipped each season. Granger’s knee injury in 2012 kept him out essentially all year. He proceeded to miss 25 more games to start this season for the Indiana Pacers, and his numbers were average at best.

While Granger may have been a great teammate and logged some good games in an Indiana Pacers uniform, the harsh reality is that the NBA is still a business.

Social media has exploded over the trade, with comments varying from thanking Granger for his memories in Indiana to quotations about missing the guy and feeling sorry for him. Stop it. Now.

Time for the Indiana Pacers to move on. Stick to the ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship with the team that has been formed. There is still a game to be played Saturday night. Plenty of season left for this group and it’s time to shift the focus back to winning basketball games.

If they want to be the best, go prove it with the team you have.

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