Danny Granger, who has spent his whole eight-and-a-half-year career playing for the Indiana Pacers, has been traded by his team to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. The 76ers is also expected to receive a second-round pick in the near future. Granger is currently on the last year of his five-year, $60 million contract and the Pacers certainly believes that Turner is of more help than the 30-year-old player, whose average between 2007 and 2012 ranged from 18.7 and 25.8. In 2012, the former Pacers player suffered a knee injury which derailed his career and caused him to miss over 100 games.
This year, Indiana stated that trading Danny Granger was not a possibility, but it appears that adding Evan Turner to the team was a too big temptation for the Pacers, which decided to deal their longtime player to 76ers for the Philly player.
“We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our bench,” Larry Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations said in a statement.
Bird also stated that the Indiana team has high hopes of acquiring both Turner and Allen. The former will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and the 76ers did not have in plan to re-sign him, so trading Evan Turner for Danny Granger was unexpected, but imminent. The Pacers’ shocking decision to trade their once franchise player is only exceeded by 76ers’ decision to give away Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, two of the three best players.
“It’s a day of mixed emotions,” a source close to Granger said.
The same source added that the former Pacers player is ready to show the league that he recovered from the knee injury and that the next chapter of his career is exciting, but at the same time leaving his friends and moving from Indiana to Philadelphia will be tough not only for him, but also for his wife, Dionna.
There are mixed feelings with regard to the trade and while some experts believe that the Pacers could enjoy a short-term success and add value to the game with Miami thanks to Lavoy Allen, others believe that Indiana’s move was risky, yet needed in case Lance Stephenson decides to switch team after the season is over.
All in all, the unanimous position is that the Pacers has chosen well when it decided to trade Granger to 76ers for Turner. The former averaged 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, while the latter averaged 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Turner told The Star that he was planning his postseason vacation when he found out that he has been traded, but even if the news came unexpectedly for the former 76ers player, he is “looking forward to the future and the next few months with the team.”
At the other extreme, Granger knew that something might happen, since he is in the last year of a $60 million contract. In October 2013, he talked about trading and how realistic this plan sounded.
“Honestly, to trade me at this point, unless you would get someone back that would really, really really (help), we already have a young core group,” Granger said. “I don’t know if they would trade me for more younger pieces that probably would play with this group.”
Danny Granger has been traded by the Indiana Pacers to 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen and another second-round pick is reportedly in plan.
By Gabriela Motroc