The moment rumors starting flying around the world wide web last week about a possible trade between the 76ers and Indiana Pacers that would send Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to the Pacers in exchange for Danny Granger and a 2015 second-round pick, discussion about that trade from the 76ers end has centered on what the Sixers would do with Granger.
Even before the deal was official, many assumed that the Sixers would simply buy-out the former All-Star and lethal scorer who thanks to knee issues is now a shell of the 20 ppg. player he was 4 years ago. Starting this past weekend and continuing through this morning, it has been reported that the Sixers are either “working” on a buy-out for Granger or that the Sixers “may” buy him out. Allegedly an announcement could come as soon as today.
Well, I am here to tell you that buying Danny Granger out is a mistake for the 76ers and I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
First, let me state for the record that I do NOT want Danny Granger to suit up and take the court for the 76ers. Don’t get me wrong, as much fun as it would be to watch Danny Granger receive 30 minutes a night for the 7-6 and witness if he has anything left in the tank, I don’t want him anywhere near this team’s locker room or practice facility.
Here’s why…When I placed calls to my NBA contacts for research on this post, more than one of them described Granger as a locker room “poison”. One of those NBA personnel folks described his attitude and behavior on the 2010 US Men’s National Team as “diva-like multiplied by 100”. Another told me that Thad Young would simply “walk out the door” if Granger put on a Sixers uniform. The 2013-14 76ers have enough problems, they don’t need Granger and his antics on the roster to make things worse (if that is possible).
My reasons for NOT offering Granger a $4.5 million buy out are very selfish — it’s what’s best for this franchise. I don’t care that Granger is likely in the twilight of his career and wants to go play for a contender this season. The Sixers owe Danny Granger NOTHING. Keeping Granger under contract with the Sixers and maintaining his “Bird Rights” until this coming summer has value for this franchise and that’s all that should matter to Sam Hinkie. I can’t imagine that this summer Granger (8.3 ppg. & 3.6 rpg.) will be in high demand across the NBA, but if the Sixers can gain one single asset this coming off-season by using Granger in a sign-and-trade, than paying him the remaining money owed for this season will have been worth every penny.
Imagine if the Sixers received an undervalued, young talent or a future 2nd round pick as part of a sign-and-trade for Granger this summer. That certainly would make the Evan Turner deal look a lot better; it would give Hinkie another asset to use and in theory it would make the Sixer a better team down the road. In short, holding on to Granger is a no brainer, but don’t take just my word for it.
One NBA executive I contacted thinks along those same line and told me via text that “Hinkie is very smart” and “buying him (Granger) out is not what’s best for Philly”. Another told me that, “I agree, it’s in the best interest of the Sixers to keep him”. A third said, “I’d be shocked to see that happen…it’s not Hinkie’s style”.
So I am asking Sam Hinkie to please ignore the pleas of Granger and his agent and don’t offer Granger a buy out. Than use him this summer to potentially make the 76ers a better team in the future. If Granger chooses not to report to, practice with or play for the Sixers, that’s a bonus. Send him his checks and let him sulk his NBA career away.
Hell, we paid Andrew Bynum a lot more cash to sit on the sidelines for an entire season and in the end we got nothing in return for that money spent. At least spending money on Granger this season has the potential for a future return.
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