The Pacers had already added size with the presence of Andrew Bynum, but they felt they needed something else to battle against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. They have decided to part ways with Danny Granger – who kept buried in the bench – and sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
While neither player figures to be an instant addition to the starting lineup, there’s little doubt that the Pacers are much better now with this move. The former No. 2 overall pick can be used as a SG or as a SF, and he can either score off the bench or be inserted as a starter, something that would push Lance Stephenson to the second unit. Turner is a volume scorer, but he can also distribute the ball, play some defense and be useful on both ends so he’s a great addition for Indiana.
As for Lavoy Allen, he’s a big man who can score in bunches when he gets hot, but his real value lies on the defensive side. He can rebound, protect the rim and he’s an instant upgrade over Ian Mahinmi while adding options to the second unit. He can take some pressure off Luis Scola on defense and can backup both Roy Hibbert and David West if the chance arises.
The Heat are the team to beat in the East this season, but the Pacers have been making strides to catch the defending champions. The arrival of Bynum was a step in the right direction, but the presence of both Allen and Turner could be what the franchise needs to claim the top spot in the conference.