Danny Granger: The Departure Of A Fan Favorite

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, February 24, 2014 with No comments
Written By Clevis Murray 

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and Thursday after 3pm most thought they were safe and  that all trades were complete but there were still some trades that weren't yet announced. The last trade of the evening was a blockbuster and a bit surprising since there were no rumors about it at all until it was completed, the deal I'm speaking of involved the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers with Danny Granger heading to Philly and Evan Turner along with Lavoy Allen going up north to Indiana. 

Granger was the longest tenured Pacer on the team before his surprising exit and was with the franchise through thick and thin since 2005 and made it to the playoffs four out of his eight complete seasons with the team but he wasn't a part of the "Blue Collar" team's amazing run to the Eastern Conference Finals due to injury last NBA season but he did support them on the bench.

Danny was the main player for the Pacers before the arrival of Paul George and between the 2005-
2006 and 2008-2009 seasons his scoring averaged increased by five each season and averaged 20+ for three consecutive seasons as the franchise player during that period of time. Granger would never become a consistent 20 point scorer again due to nagging injuries each season that have included his knee, calf and heel. It's fair enough to say that Granger will never become that player again but can become a good rotation player when healthy. He missed an abundance of time at the beginning of the season and only played 29 games with Indy this season averaging 8.3 points & 3.6 rebounds with a Player Efficiency Rating of 10.44.

He's been a great sport with the Pacers through all their struggles and rebuilding as he was thought of be the franchise player in the Post - Reggie Miller era. Granger has never complained and wanted what was best for the franchise and was one of the main reasons why Paul George was drafted to the team with the 10th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and  even before they were officially teammates the had worked out together with Granger saying "I was training with Paul before he even got drafted here, I was working out with him in LA." Fast forward a few years and he has realized the passing of torch saying 

"I think the biggest deal about it is the assumptions since I was coming back that there’d be a competition between us, when it’s actually the opposite, the way he can break defenses down, the way he can create, I can just stand, catch and shoot, drive it makes my job easier. He’s coming in at such a young age, I have no problem I’ve been in the league eight years I have no problem passing the mantle to him, My whole team I watched get drafted. I’ve watched all of them grow. So I have no problem passing the mantle. At all."

When the trade went down no one was more hurt than George who said this via Instagram

"On a serious note upset day for me losing a big brother and mentor hate to see him leave us.. You helped me so far along the way big bro! Still one of my toughest match ups.. Nothing but love for you geezy!" 

The Two became close friends over the years and have never gotten into a argument with their melancholy attitudes.

Very sad that despite the team struggling in his era and winning George's, Granger won't be able to experience the storybook ending with the Indiana Pacers. 

Barring any season-ending injuries (this season has been filled with a bunch) the Pacers and Heat will once again cross paths and meet up in the Eastern Conference Finals which would make it the third season in a row that the two teams have met in the Playoffs and second in the ECF. Granger was part of the start of this rivalry back in 2012 when both teams met in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals which the Pacers lost in six games. We all know he wanted to contribute and help the team get over that hump. That was series was the last playoff game he played and with a trade to Philadelphia his next appearance in the playoffs is unpredictable.  

Now looking at it, Granger was traded to the second worst team in the NBA in Philly as they are 15-40 but could have a bright future as they ended the day with seven draft picks for the very talented and hyped up draft this summer and $30M in cap space. With all those picks and cap space, Philadelphia will most likely have playoff team in 3-4 seasons... But then again the future moves a NBA team makes is always unpredictable. Granger must feel skeptical being sent to help out a team that is as worst as his early years in Indiana. 

Examining the trade from a Pacers perspective we can see that they are all in to dethrone the 2x
reigning champs in the Miami Heat by acquiring Evan Turrner to assist their bench as he can play the PG/SG/SF and is basically another Lance Stephenson. Turner is another point forward with his big body, passing and rebound skills and will be able to guard LeBron as he, Stephenson and George will take turns. Lets not forget Lavoy Allen who is a very good rebounder and post defender and brings more toughness to Indiana. One can make the assumption that Indiana has the best bench in the league with CJ Watson, Evan Turner, Luis Scola, Chris Copeland, Ian Mahinmi and if healthy and mature then Andrew Bynum. All the players previously listed were starters at one point in their careers. Larry Bird and Kevin Pritchard deserve a standing ovation for what they have done to improve a already dangerous team.

Danny Granger was "pissed" when he heard he was traded to Philadelphia and might not even play a game their with a buyout possibly being in the works as he will meet with GM Sam Hinkie and if bought out then Granger will gain interest from the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurts etc. 

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