The Indiana Pacers were on cloud nine midway through the 2014 season; they were winning games with ease and seemed destined to finally take down the big bad Miami Heat and LeBron James. At the trade deadline Larry Bird and the Pacers surprisingly made a move which sent veteran player Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers and brought in Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
At the time the trade happened many fans were happy. Granger had just not been the same since he was injured, and Turner had seen some success as far as numbers were concerned in Philadelphia. That being said, you would be hard pressed to find just one fan of the Pacers who would make that trade again, because as we know Turner ended up providing very little in terms of production.
Granger was bought out when he was traded and ended up finding a spot on the Los Angeles Clippers. Although he was only able to play in 12 games there, he averaged the same in points (eight per game) as he did that in eight minutes less per game and shot better from the field and from the three-point line.
His contract with the Clippers included a player option for this coming season which would be valued at $1.36 million, and Granger has just recently decided to not take it, making him a free agent on July 1. Obviously in turning down the offer he believes he can find a team that will offer him more money wise and possibly even more playing time if he can stay healthy.
The Pacers are entering a tipping point as far as their core group of players. In just a short time we will know the fate that awaits Lance Stephenson and if he decides to sign with the Pacers or looks elsewhere for more money. If he ends up leaving the team, they will now have a good amount of money to play with which opens up the possibility to bring Granger back to the team that drafted him.
Chemistry was something that was constantly talked about with this team when the struggles started to come, and everyone wanted to point to the Granger trade to when it all started going downhill. Whether that is true or not, here is a chance for the organization to right a wrong and bring him back (probably for a lot less money) and give him a chance to contribute to the team that you know he still cares for.
July 1 is when all of these questions will begin to be answered. It was Stephenson who took Granger’s job when he was injured, and ultimately it is his decision that could prompt him to come back.