On Friday afternoon, Danny Granger is expected to clear waivers, then he will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Granger has already spoken with Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and informed him of his decision to sign with Los Angeles for the remainder of the season.
The only way he won’t end up with the Clippers is if someone claims him off of waivers, but that is not likely since that would mean the team signing him would owe him the remainder of his $14 million contract for this season. Now, if teams are unwilling to give Granger what amounts to roughly $5.13 million for the remainder of the season, why are we assuming he would help the Clippers?
I am of the belief that the Granger signing is going to complicate things for Los Angeles and actually harm their season win total. He has only played in 34 games the past two seasons, and when he has been on the court, his level of play has not been what we are accustomed to seeing from him. This season, Granger is averaging 8.3 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game in just over 22 minutes of action; he is also shooting 35.9 percent from the field.
It is clear he is not the All-Star talent he once was.
Trying to integrate Granger in with a team that already has Jamal Crawford, Willie Green, Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick (once he recovers from a hip injury) is going to be a hard task with only 22 games left in the regular season. Suffice to say, the Clippers did not need another wing, if anything they needed another big.
The only hope for Clippers is if they are signing Granger to keep him off the roster of the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs or Houston Rockets. The Clippers are one of the five teams in the league that has a legitimate shot at winning the NBA Championship this season, and they could not have any of those other four teams getting better for a stretch run.
If the Clippers want to use Granger in their regular rotation, then they are making a big mistake. He is not as good of a shooter as Redick, Barnes, Crawford or Dudley, and he is only better than Redick defensively. There is no doubt that Granger has lost a step — or three — since tearing up his knee in 2012. He cannot create his own shot like he once could, and he is a below-average defensive player now. If the Indiana Pacers thought Granger was, still good they would have kept him for their own title push instead of trading him for Evan Turner.
Los Angeles might have been pulling a fast one on the other title contenders; if they did in fact sign Granger to stop him from going elsewhere, then kudos to them. But if they signed him to play him, then they have hurt their chances of hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season.