With the trade deadline approaching quickly, the NBA trade rumor mill shall begin to cycle surrounding Indiana Pacers reserve forward Danny Granger.
Granger, a 6’9″ veteran, has an expiring contract worth $14 million, something a large amount of teams are drooling over. An expiring contract of that amount allows a team more free agency freedom when the contract is up, lifting that amount of money off their salary cap threshold.
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird has been quiet on the NBA trade rumor front. He likely is to remain in that respect regarding his reserve wing player.
Multiple sources, including Zach Lowe of Grantland.com and my colleagues here at FanSided, believe Granger could be shipped before the trade deadline comes and goes. However, others believe that not to be the case.
The Indiana Pacers may want just as badly to keep Granger and his expiring contract – for many reasons.
One, Granger has been with Indiana his entire career. He understands what the team is all about and wants just as bad as anyone to compete for a championship. He’ll have that opportunity with the Pacers.
Second, Indiana is eyeing a new contract for guard Lance Stephenson. That could require almost every penny of Granger’s current deal, which was originally 5 years, $60 million. Lots of teams will be after Stephenson, so the Pacers will be on their toes with that matter, which leads me to my next point.
Dealing Granger at this point almost certainly guarantees Indiana would inherit a contract or multiples contracts of other players that extend beyond this season. Being that the Pacers refuse to pay a luxury tax (tax payment when a team exceeds salary cap set by the NBA), they cannot afford more contract commitments beyond this season (assuming they can re-sign Stephenson).
The way trades work in the NBA under the recently-revised collective bargaining agreement, a trade can only be made if the assets involved (players, draft picks and cash) from both parties are of practically equal value. Thus, it seems near impossible that Bird can make a trade and get the same value in return that matches Granger’s $14 million salary in 2013-14, without signing anyone beyond this season.
Almost every NBA trade rumor is not taking these facts into consideration. Not to mention Indiana would also probably not get in return a player(s) with the same veteran knowledge and offensive ability that Granger possesses.
Whether Granger is with the Pacers beyond this season remains to be seen, but at this point, No. 33 isn’t going anywhere via trade before the February 20 deadline.