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NBA Indiana Pacers

5 Potential Landing Spots for Danny Granger by the Trade Deadline

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5 Potential Landing Spots for Danny Granger

Danny Granger
Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Granger has been one of the most underrated players in the league since being drafted by the Indiana Pacers out of New Mexico in 2005. However, injuries and playing for bad teams has led to his demise over the years. The 6-foot-8 228-pound guard/forward has never had the chance to show how good of a player he could be if given the right surrounding pieces. Unfortunately for him, Paul George is now the cornerstone of the Pacers and is the reason why they have the best record in the NBA.

George has proven he is durable and has a lot more athleticism than Granger does at this point in his career. The injuries with Granger have also left the door open for second round pick Lance Stephenson. He has not disappointed since getting an opportunity. There have been numerous rumors that Granger did not want to be traded from the Pacers, but he is such a topic of discussion amongst other teams that it would be hard not to consider offers.

He is now 30 years old. Some teams believe he still has a lot more gas left in the tank while others believe he is too injury-prone to have any faith in. In just three games this season he is averaging 5.7 PPG off the bench. In his career he has averaged 18 PPG. When he is healthy, defensively and offensively he is unstoppable. He is a slasher and can create his own shot. Defensively he can lock down defenders and make their life miserable.

Granger also plays with a chip on his shoulder. He has always believed he was one the top small forwards in the league but never got the respect due to LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce. In a new environment he could have the chance to return to that form. There are a number of teams that are in need of a guard/forward, and here are the top five on that list.

Jamyson Frierson is a Cleveland Browns and NBA/MLB writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @nflplaya77 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans could be a bit of a stretch by some, but it is possible and a deal could work. Right now the Pelicans have Al-Farouq Aminu playing at the three, but he is only averaging 7.0 PPG this year. Danny Granger is averaging only 1.3 PPG less than that, and with an opportunity he could quadruple that of Aminu if traded there.

The Pelicans have two dynamic shooting guards in Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. If the Pacers were to go this route, they would acquire possibly the final piece to overtaking the Miami Heat for a championship. New Orleans could insert Granger at the three, while either Evans or Gordon are at the two with Aminu coming off the bench.

The Pelicans are struggling right now at 12-14 in a tough Western Conference, but with Anthony Davis back, a healthy Ryan Anderson and adding Granger, they could be right back in the mix of things sooner than a lot of teams think. Granger was also born and raised in New Orleans so he would have motivation to prove he has not lost a step.

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4. Denver Nuggets

Nuggets
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets have struggled in filling the small forward position ever since Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks. They did acquire the services of Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari in that trade, but so far they have been injury-prone and a non--factor. Players such as Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson have done most of the heavy lifting. However, they still lack a presence that can create their own shot.

While Chandler plays good defense, he is limited offensively. Gallinari brings the offense, but he is atrocious defensively. If the Nuggets were to trade for Danny Granger, they would finally have a presence that could create their own shot and play defense. If he is healthy, It would be similar to the offense he has ran in Indiana which is based upon the fast break.

The Pacers could possibly acquire their missing point guard with Nate Robinson, and get an instant offense player with Galinari. There also would not be any pressure on Granger since the Nuggets play as a collective unit rather than based around one player.

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3. New York Knicks

Knicks
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are a team that has everything it needs but at the same time still needs more. Thus far, Carmelo Anthony is not making the impact the Knicks initially thought he would make. Their $100 million man in Amare Stoudemire hasn't panned out either. The main problem with the Knicks -- even as they have it all -- is that they only have one player who can create their own shot in Anthony.

At the two they have J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, and their situation is similar to that of the Denver Nuggets. Smith has the offensive skill set while Shumpert has it defensively. If they were to acquire Danny Granger they could slip him in at the two position right away with his versatility. They would likely acquire Smith, which would give the Indiana Pacers a shooting threat during key moments of the game.

With the Eastern Conference being as horrible as it is this year, the Knicks are still technically in it as every team is. Granger could make the much difference if he remained healthy teamed with Anthony.

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2. Chicago Bulls

Bulls
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls are already having a season they want to forget. Derrick Rose is out for the season again after missing all of the previous one. They have been banged up all year and are only still in the playoff race because of how bad the East is. There were rumors of the Bulls actually trading coach Tom Thibodeau to the Knicks for other players.

That is how bad it is in Chicago right now. Luol Deng is in the final year of his contract, and it has been said he will opt out and test free agency. If that were to happen the Bulls would get nothing. There have been rumors all year and even currently of Deng being traded to either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Bulls do not want to lose Deng, but they would rather get something for him than to just let him walk away. They could trade Deng straight up for Danny Granger, as they both have mirroring contracts. Granger is not as good defensively as Deng, but he has the ability to slash and also play the two. He could also play some point guard if need be. Let's just say he would be an upgrade over the current starter, D.J. Augustin.

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1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew this one was coming, right? The Cleveland Cavaliers are a disaster right now. Anthony Bennett has not panned out at all, nor has free agent addition Earl Clark. In some games they look like a team that has taken the next step in the right direction, but in other games, like Monday against the Detroit Pistons, they look like a complete joke.

The team doesn't have a medium or any leadership, and that is what is usually expected with such a young team. Alonzo Gee is the starting three for the Cavaliers, and he has been abysmal all season at best. He is a great defender but is severely limited offensively. Clark, who was the original starter, looks lost when he is out there and takes ill-advised shots. Bennett is on another planet when he comes out to play.

He doesn't know where to stand or go when he is out there, and he looks tentative and afraid. It is safe to say the Cavaliers have not had a presence at the three since LeBron James. Besides Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, nobody else on the team can score. The Cavaliers have been in talks with several teams about acquiring a three all year.

They are still rumored to acquire Evan Turner from the 76ers, Jeff Green from the Boston Celtics, and Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls. However, there have been talks of LeBron possibly making a comeback with the Cavaliers after his contract runs out next year. It is known he wants to be back near his family in Akron, but the only way it would happen is if the Cavaliers as they are assembled win 40-45 games. This could be why they have not pushed harder to acquire a three.

If they were to trade for Danny Granger he would be a significant improvement over Gee, Clark and Bennett without question. The Cavaliers would lose Anderson Varejao and Waiters most likely, but they would get a player in Granger that is a poor man's Lebron. He would finally be playing with a real point guard in Irving and a center with fundamentals in Andrew Bynum, and with the East being as weak as it is, the Cavaliers would be right back in it. They would have a better chance of keeping Granger long term than they would any of the other aforementioned players.

Sleepers: Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers.