Posted February 20, 2014

Trade grades: Pacers deal Danny Granger to Sixers for Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen

Danny Granger, Evan Turner, Indiana Pacers, Lavoy Allen, Philadelphia 76ers, Rob Mahoney
Danny Granger will go from the top team in the East to the second-worst by record. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images)

Danny Granger will go from the top team in the East to the second-worst by record. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Pacers have agreed to trade forward Danny Granger to the Sixers for guard Evan Turner and forward Lavoy Allen, according to Yahoo Sports. Philadelphia will also acquire a future second-round pick in the transaction, according to Grantland, which was completed just prior to the official trade deadline on Thursday. USA Today reported that the pick is for 2015.

Granger, 30, has been a mere accessory for the Pacers since returning from lingering knee injuries. In limited minutes over the past two seasons, he’s averaged 7.9 points while shooting 35 percent — a far cry from his once-lofty numbers as Indiana’s first-option scorer. (He’s averaging 8.3 points on 35.9 percent shooting in 29 games this season.) The team’s natural evolution and Granger’s $14 million expiring contract presented an opportunity to move him, and the Pacers found a suitable trade partner in the ever-active Sixers.

Turner, 25, has taken full advantage of Philadelphia’s never-ending fast break by averaging a career-high 17.4 points, six rebounds and 3.7 assists. That’s an impressive and unique stat line — one shared (or bested) by just four other players in the league.

Allen, 25, rounds out what is already one of the most formidable frontcourt rotations in the league. He isn’t likely to see all that much playing time behind Roy Hibbert, David West, Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola, but Allen is a serviceable big man in the final year of his contract. Creating immediate depth at no long-term cost suits the Pacers’ plans well.

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Philadelphia is simply along for the ride as a means of securing yet another second-round pick, the sixth it acquired on Thursday. Granger will either play out his contract or be bought out before the end of the season, all for the cost of an expensive pending free agent Philadelphia didn’t have any interest in re-signing (Turner) and a big man who didn’t influence their plans much one way or another (Allen).

Pacers’ Grade: C+

For a deal involving two bigger NBA names, this is a trade of pretty marginal value. Turner, for all his production, is more shimmer than substance; pace inflation and ball dominance very much make Turner’s basic stat line more attractive than it should be, as his individual strengths haven’t yet translated well to a team concept.

In terms of base-level skills, he’s a standout. There’s no question that Turner can handle the ball smoothly and set up his teammates to score — a combination that puts him in select company among wing players. None of those skills, though, have managed to pull Turner’s career from an unfortunate gray area. As long as he’s neither efficient enough to justify a prominent offensive role nor well suited for a complementary one, Turner will continue to pose problems of utilization for whichever team employs him.

That’s Indiana’s concern now, though it’s one the Pacers gave up exceptionally little to bear. Problematic though Turner may be (especially in a somewhat redundant role alongside Lance Stephenson), Granger is now 22 months removed from playing even replacement-level basketball. His 49-percent true shooting and shaky floor spacing weren’t going to help a championship contender, setting the bar for an upgrade rather low. Turner should hop over it without issue, and if all goes according to plan, he could wind up being a legitimate help to the Pacers as they vie for the NBA title.

There are attractive elements to Turner’s game, and if nothing else he seems useful in light of Indiana’s inevitable grudge match with Miami. The Heat defense blitzes opponents at the point of attack and requires complementary players to create for themselves. Turner can do that, and through that skill alone may have validated his acquisition. Toss in Allen as an added bonus and it’s hard to judge the Pacers too harshly for redeeming value from a former star who had outstayed his usefulness.

One last note: This will be the only season that Turner and Stephenson — both impending free agents — play together, as their combined cost beyond this summer will be prohibitive to a team as tax-conscious as Indiana. Should Turner wind up re-signing with the Pacers, it will effectively signal that something went wrong in the effort to re-sign Stephenson. The two aren’t comparable in the slightest in terms of on-court impact, though from the broadest view of their skill sets, I suppose Turner could be seen as something of an insurance policy.

Sixers’ Grade: B

By one framing, all Philadelphia has to show for taking on a player it didn’t really want and adding more than $4 million in salary is a second-round pick. Yet in truth, the Sixers collected yet another draft pick while agreeing to spend money they had to spend anyway and giving away two players who didn’t factor into their future.

The important distinction between those two perspectives lies in accounting for the salary floor. By rule, every NBA team must pay its players $52.8 million in total salary this season, a mark which Philadelphia had yet to meet. The penalty for that deficit isn’t very severe; even in the case that the Sixers didn’t reach the salary floor by the end of the season, they would only be required to pay out the surcharge among the players on their roster. This effectively negates any reason why adding Granger’s larger salary would matter. If they hadn’t acquired him through this deal, the Sixers would be paying the same amount to other players on the roster regardless. That might be a bummer for Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams, but it doesn’t make any difference in evaluations of this deal.

The second-round pick acquired might not amount to much, but the Sixers didn’t lose a single relevant asset or pay a single dollar more than they had to. That’s solid work, even if it’s in the margins.

*Even after adding Granger, Earl Clark, Henry Sims, Eric Maynor and Byron Mullens on Thursday, the Sixers still don’t seem to meet the minimum salary threshold based on publicly available salary data.

24 comments
JosephBagadoughnutz
JosephBagadoughnutz

the sixers now have more second round picks than the NBA has in the second round.

acowen16
acowen16

that is the worst trade ever

txreviewer
txreviewer

What are the chances of Granger  ending up in Miami?  The sixers can buy-out his contract and Miami has an open spot right now.  An interesting twist indeed.....

PHIFAN20
PHIFAN20

You have to be delusional if you think this wraps up the east. Turner is a high volume, low efficiency shooter and doesn't play defense. He had the ball primarily in philly and was nothing special. This could very possibly be a terrible trade for the pacers 

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

This trade is exactly what the grade says.... C+  - Turner was putting up decent numbers on an awful team, and is overrated as a result.  A series with Miami will still come down to 6-7 games.... and in a last second/minute situation I will still take LeBron over George/Hibbert/etc

JubJub
JubJub

This is an excellent move by Indiana.  

Even before this move, I thought Miami would have trouble beating Indiana in a 7-game series this year. Last year, they barely beat them because Indiana essentially was one player short.  Now, George and Stephenson are much-improved for Indiana, plus they've added Scola and Turner.  Miami has added nobody while continuing to rely on a 32-year-old Wade, who will have a tougher time scoring against the Pacers in a long series, and Chris Bosh, who looks fine now but will change his gender come playoff time.  

Sulkaman
Sulkaman

The Pacers have to be the odds on favorite to come out of the East and might just win the whole darn thing.

MrGameandShow
MrGameandShow

Ridding him for just a second rounder? DIsappointed to see the Bobcats did not get Turner. They really needed him.  Philly stockpiling second rounders for what reason who knows. I guess they think they will draft some international guys and keep them overseas. 


Unless they plan on stacking up second rounders to trade for 1st rounders.

MikeHuser1
MikeHuser1

The word genius is not a strong enough word to describe Larry Bird and the front office of the Indiana Pacers. Does webster have a word in it's dictionary that is worthy of this god-like figure?

bobdevo
bobdevo

Man, oh, man . .. the Pacers bench lost to the Heat bench last year . . . . the Pacers have certainly corrected that problem (not to mention Miami got older) . . .

Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

@acowen16 why? Turner is a wild card, they knew who Granger was - a fringe guy at this point, at least til next season when he wouldn't be around - so why not gamble? This team doesn't need 2nd round picks. They have a quality top 8-10 and are effective at acquiring skill.

Bashire808
Bashire808

@JubJub  We have added talent...Ummm, Micheal Beasley can't be guarded by anyone on the Pacers (Scola, lol) and Oden will be ready to play 15-20 minutes v. the frontline along with Birdman...We haven't been scared of the Pacers the last 2 years..it won't start this year....The Pacers still can't shoot the 3 ball or over 44% from the field....We like our chances..And we will pick up a new wing man before the mid-March

Rem
Rem

@JubJub  I doubt it.  Miami is over the tax.  Even if they could get Granger at a discount (say $5M), that would jump their total roster cost by like $9-10M.  Miami's not NY or LA, I just don't see them shelling out that kind of $.

salvaje50
salvaje50

@JubJub I agree with all of that.  But Miami still has LeBron.  That's the problem

qt3dot14
qt3dot14

@MrGameandShow  

agreed.  i havent really seen turner play extensively but im not sure that hes not the real deal.  he had great stats on a philly team that is pretty bad.  he seemed to do it without being a detriment to the rest of the team.  could be a classic case of surrounding him with other good players and he may become even better.

really sad to see the bobcats didnt make the move.  they really need his offense.  i know they need outside shooting really bad but turner would have added an interesting dynamic to a really really bad offensive team.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@MikeHuser1 Turner is overrated... as are most players putting up better numbers on bad, bad teams

qt3dot14
qt3dot14

@MikeHuser1 you may be correct.  it was a great trade both short-term and potentially long-term with no real downside if it doesnt work at all.


but what happened to granger?  i know he got injured.  did he never satisfactorily get over the injury or has he just not found his rhythm or is he just buried at the end of the bench because of the team talent level of the pacers?

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@Rem @JubJub  dude granger signs for the rest of the season on the league prorated minimum, like every other player in this situation. Granger still gets his salary in the buyout

EddyArquero
EddyArquero

Lebron is overrated and will never be a Jordan. Jordan is in a league of his own. I see no three peat especially when the pacers are beefing up

Their roster.