Mixed emotions and an inability to really determine what the Indiana Pacers would do leading up to the NBA trade deadline led me to believe the team was staying put for the long haul. That was the reality until late Wednesday night, when rumors began to surface that Indiana reserve forward Danny Granger could be dealt by Thursday’s 3:00 p.m. deadline.
However, none of those rumors involved the teams Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird was probably in talks with concerning potential moves.
Leave it to Bird to shock everyone when, as first reported by Yahoo! Sports, he traded away Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
The Sixers also received a future second-round pick from the Pacers as part of a package deal.
At first reaction I was surprised only because nothing had been rumored or discussed. But that is exactly how Bird wants it. Nobody ever knows what The Legend is going to do in his role operating an NBA franchise.
Nevertheless, away goes Danny Granger and in comes Turner.
Turner is an Ohio State product and was an extraordinary collegiate athlete. He shot his draft stock up later in his final season at OSU and was selected second overall by Philadelphia in 2010. Coincidentally or not, that was the same class in which Bird drafted Paul George and Lance Stephenson.
Whether Turner adds to the Pacers’ success with 2010 draft picks remains to be seen, but for the time being, it’s tough for me to argue with Bird on this move.
Granger was not contributing much off the bench for Indiana, struggling to get his legs fully under him since returning from multiple injuries that have bothered him over the past two seasons. The 30-year-old missed over 100 games battling injuries to his knee and calf.
Meanwhile, Turner has had his best season since entering the league. He was averaging 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists through 55 games for Philly, who currently sits at 15-40 overall.
That said, I think it’s a steal for the Pacers, as they bring in a much more versatile player and deal more of a spot-up shooter in Danny Granger. The trade can only help Indiana as they search for more offense from their second unit.
Granger had played all nine of his NBA seasons with the Indiana Pacers.