Although the past few years have been plagued by injuries for former All-Star forward Danny Granger, he now has a fresh start in front of him with the Clippers.
The Clippers announced the signing on Friday:
The Indianapolis Star's Candace Buckner first reported that Granger planned to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the report.
Granger was considered to be one of the best players in the league just a few short years ago; however, he was limited to just 34 games over the past two seasons and had devolved into little more than a bench player for the Indiana Pacers.
With the Pacers contending for a championship, the difficult decision was made to trade Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers. Indiana received a nice return in the form of forwards Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, which certainly figures to help during the stretch run.
After spending parts of nine years with the Pacers, Granger bid the organization farewell on Twitter in the wake of the trade:
Goodbye Indiana...I love u guys http://t.co/gO19Sad9Zh— Danny Granger (@dgranger33) February 22, 2014
His response was far more lucid than how he reportedly reacted initially. Jake Fischer of The Boston Globe reported that Granger was quite upset:
Danny Granger was "pissed" when he learned he was traded to the Sixers, per league source.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 21, 2014
It was fairly apparent from that start that the Sixers didn't have any grand plans for the 30-year-old Granger, and that was confirmed on Wednesday when Philadelphia bought out his contract, per Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com.
Provided Granger can avoid injury moving forward, he can potentially be a significant contributor in some important games down the stretch for the Clippers.
In a statement, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said Philadelphia was more than willing to grant Granger a buyout so that he could play for a contender.
His accomplishments and accolades to this point of his NBA career more than speak for themselves, so I would like to express that I have a great deal of respect for Danny Granger as a person ... Given Danny's future goals and his desire to pursue them, we worked to fulfill his requests and have come to a resolution we feel is mutually beneficial to Danny and our organization.
Even before the buyout was finalized, David Aldridge of NBA.com reported that a number of possible suitors had emerged:
Sixers, Danny Granger finishing buyout today, per sources. Teams in hunt: Clips, Bulls, Heat, Rockets, Spurs.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 26, 2014
Within hours, that list had apparently been whittled down to two, with the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs becoming the most likely destinations, according to Stein:
As stated last night: It's Clippers vs. Spurs now for Danny Granger, who will officially clear waivers and become free agent Friday at 5 PM— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 26, 2014
What will be Granger's role down the stretch?
The nine-year NBA veteran isn't far removed from a dominant stretch, so there is no reason why he can't make a major impact, provided he is given the opportunity to do so.
Granger averaged at least 18.7 points per game in each season from 2007-08 through 2011-12, and that streak could very well still be intact if not for the ailments that have slowed him down. Granger's long-term viability is unclear, but short-term production is definitely a possibility.
At the same time, Granger could prove to be a poor acquisition if injuries persist. Granger's reputation definitely precedes him, and Ethan Strauss of ESPN.com suggested that the teams in the hunt for Granger were a bit desperate:
It's 3 AM in the bar and half the GMs are eyeing Danny Granger— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) February 27, 2014
Be that as it may, bringing Granger in is certainly worth a shot. He has proven capable of being a dominant scorer in the past, and even if he is unable to do that at the same level he once did, he can still potentially have a big effect on games in short spurts.
It can be argued that the Pacers' decision to trade Granger may have cost him a shot at a championship, but he figures to receive even more playing time now, and he certainly still has an opportunity to win it all if things break the right way.
Also, the fact of the matter is that the Pacers didn't trust Granger to be a key figure en route to a title. Now he can feel as though he is wanted, and a title will be even sweeter if it means proving his old team wrong.
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