NBA Trade Rumors: Indiana Pacers Need to Hold on to Danny Granger

Shawn TigheCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 08: Danny Granger #33 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates a late fourth quarter three point basket with David West #21while playing the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indiana won the game 105-87 to to win the series 3-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Danny Granger has missed the entire season up to date with a left knee injury, but rumor has it he will rejoin the Pacers' by the All-Star break.

Another rumor floating around is that the Pacers are looking to trade the forward from New Mexico due to the emergence of Paul George.

Here is why the Pacers should ignore all offers and hold on to Danny Granger.


They Need Offense... Bad

Indiana ranks 29th in the NBA in points, averaging only 92.8 per game. They play exceptional defense, but for that to matter they need to put the ball in the basket.

Granger's injury allowed Paul George to move to his more natural position at small forward, but he has struggled at times. He is taking nearly 15 shots per game, but is only connecting on 42 percent of those shots. Granger has struggled in years past with his shooting efficiency, but with him in the lineup George has shot the ball much better.

George shot 44 percent last year and 45 percent the year before with Granger at the 3, who is usually covered by the opposing team's best defender. Getting Granger back will not only help Paul George, but Roy Hibbert as well.

Hibbert has been a huge disappointment this year. After signing a max contract this offseason, there was a ton of pressure on him to produce. He hasn't come even close to that. Hibbert has shot only 41 percent this year as defenses have collapsed on him because there is no one to space the floor.

Adding Granger not only adds 15-20 points per game, but it will improve the offensive efficiency of the rest of the team. He will allow George to play against a lesser defender and will space the floor so Hibbert has more room to operate down low.


Toughness Factor

From the outside looking in, Granger may not look like a tough player, but after last year's playoff series with Miami he gained respect around the league. It showed that he wasn't willing to back down from anyone and he could even muck it up with a superstar like LeBron James.

Granger is also an above average defender who can improve the Pacers' already stellar defense. From John Hollinger:

Defensively, I thought Granger was one of the league's most improved players. His effort was much more consistent than a season earlier, and all his statistical grades were positive. The Pacers gave up 3.6 points per 100 possessions fewer with him on the court and he allowed only a 12.7 PER to opposing small forwards, according to

Much like on offense, getting Granger back will help Paul George immensely on defense. Currently George has to defend the opposing team's best player, but with Granger back in the lineup he will be able to catch a breather. While George will still be locked up on the best player more often than not, a break every now and then will allow him to improve on the other end of the court.


Leadership Skills

The Pacers are still a relatively young team, so getting a veteran like Granger back will help them down the stretch. David West is the oldest player on the roster at age 32 and Granger is the second oldest at 29.

Having both of these guys in the lineup together gives the Pacers two veterans that they can trust down the stretch. Paul George is dynamic, but he can also be an enigma at times. Roy Hibbert has also proved that he cannot be relied upon consistently this year. The addition of a reliable scorer, such as Granger, is exactly what the Pacers need.

Prior to his injury, there was no question the Indiana Pacers were Danny Granger's team. Now that they have had some success without him the front office has discussed the possibility of trading Granger.

Indiana would be making a critical mistake if they did though. If they want to win a championship, the Pacers need Granger. They've played the Heat extraordinary well this year, but to beat them in a seven game series they're going to need more firepower. Granger provides them with that.