Welp. This one is sure to upset many a Hoosier: the captain who shepparded the team through its dullest era since the 1980s — bringing watchability, hope, and the smoothest of jumpshots — has now signed with the team´s most-hated rival.
Yes, sports fans: Danny Granger is now a member of the Heat, and for the low low low price of $4.2 million over two years, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The salary may seem low, but Granger wouldn´t have been able to get any more from a Miami team trying to keep together its big three (plus perhaps add Carmelo) all within the confines of the league´s collective bargaining agreement. Also, Danny missed essentially two straight seasons before playing poorly in limited time last season with the Pacers and Clippers.
He was a part of Indiana´s success last season, but the team´s win/loss record and his numbers didn´t seem connected. Still, many have understandably criticized Larry Bird for shipping Granger to Philadelphia, for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, due to the detrimental effect it had on team unity and defense.
After being bought out by the Sixers, Granger joined Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin on the Clippers. He played adequately in the beginning but then got hurt again, missing the tail end of the regular season. Rivers found sporadic minutes for Granger in the postseason, but he shot horribly (27.5%).
Thus, he probably isn´t even taking that much of a discount to play for Miami over what he could get on the open market. Shooters can always get paid, but who knows if Granger will ever be a reliable shooter again given all his leg problems.
Hoosiers are sure to take this one badly. But the more adult perspective is to be happy for a former favorite who now gets to live in Miami and — if all goes according to Pat Riley´s plan — get his best shot at a title since the contender he used to play for unceremoniously dumped him for Evan Turner.