The free agency market heats up as NBA playoffs inch closer. Teams with aspirations to compete for a title or at least an appearance in the second round of playoffs are shopping the market. Two players receiving interest from playoff contenders are Danny Granger and Jimmer Fredette.
Granger was bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers after traded from the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers received Lavoy Allen and Evan Turner in the trade for Granger and a second-round draft pick in 2015 that belongs to the Golden State Warriors. Applause to the Pacers front office as they are the winners of this trade. The Pacers gave up a 30-year-old Granger whose list of recent injury issues are longer than a college essay. In return they received Turner, a second pick in the 2010 draft, who is averaging 17.4 points and six rebounds per game this year. Turner will prove to be a useful addition to the first place Pacers when they inevitably face the Miami Heat in the third round of the eastern conference playoffs.
The Los Angeles Clippers appear as the favorite to sign Granger. The nine-year veteran reached a deal with 76ers management after expressing concern in the 76ers direction. Granger realizes his time in the NBA is limited and wants to contribute for a championship contender. At 15-42 the 76ers rebuilding process is looking like a 50 story skyscraper. The Clippers are the U.S. Bank Tower, tallest building in California, and Granger senses an opportunity to ride the elevator to the top.
Granger has experienced interest from playoff contenders to provide an immediate assist, however Fredette is a third year player with future upside. He has dedicated the last week to buyout negotiations with the Sacramento Kings. Fredette and the Kings realize that his inadequacy on the defensive end is an unstoppable hole that lacks help side by the Kings 27th ranked defense. However, his buttery stroke in three-point land has caught the attention of the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. When Fredette gets minutes he is capable of lighting up the scoreboard. The Bulls are 30th in points per game and are second in points allowed. Fredette has an opportunity to help the Bulls secure the three seed in a weak eastern conference. The writing is on the wall and its telling Fredette to sign with the Bulls.
When thinking of the success of late year signings a few names come up. Derek Fisher was bought out by the Houston Rockets and contracted with the Thunder on Mar. 21, 2012 to contribute for a title thinking Oklahoma City Thunder team that lacked guard depth. He averaged 22 minutes per game and played a role in stretching the Thunder to the NBA finals. Chris Anderson, Birdman, signed with the Miami Heat on Feb. 8, 2013 and helped the Heat win an NBA championship.
Free Agent requisition is dependent on internal reasons and can take either the Granger or Fredette philosophy. Both Fredette and Granger have received interest from playoff contenders and are in positions to help in the short run or long run. The choice is theirs.
Commentary by Niles Olson