Right now (emphasis on right now) the Indiana Pacers are not looking to trade Danny Granger. At least, not yet.
Pacers President Larry Bird told Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star that the team does not intend to trade Granger. Again, not yet. Granger made his regular season debut on Friday against the Houston Rockets and finished with five points in 22 minutes. It’s only the beginning, but the good thing is that he managed to get through the game without any setbacks. Progress.
“I’ve talked to Danny, talked to his agent; I’m not looking to trade him,” team President Larry Bird said Saturday. “But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it, but I’m not out there looking at deals.”
If the Pacers did deal Granger —and he’d have to be healthy for anybody to want him — they’d have to take back $14 million in salary commitments. That means bringing back guys who are in the final year of their contract, along with trade exceptions.
“We couldn’t take back guys who are going to be $14 million next year,” Bird said.
Even after his debut, there’s really no role for him to fill on the team as of yet. And if he can’t find one, then that’s when the option of trading Granger begins to become a real option — in my opinion.
Also, Granger is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, so trading him for something, anything, would make sense. Odds are that he won’t be back with the Pacers after this season — not at $14 million per year.
An expiring contract, for a player who’s shown he can produce, is a contending team’s treasure right around the trade deadline. He’ll have value on the trade block. The real question is whether or not the Pacers are willing to do a favor to a contender, and whether or not the Pacers are ready to cut ties with Granger. Both are not slam dunks.
I wouldn’t be surprised either way, though. The Pacers have some time to mull this decision over. Feb is a long ways away.