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Posts Tagged ‘Danny Granger

Is Eric Gordon destined to be the Pacers’ final piece of the puzzle?

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Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Once upon a time the Detroit Pistons built a great, defense first core around Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace that needed one more piece to contend for a title. After trading for Rasheed Wallace the rest is history.

The Pacers look like the closest mid-2000s Pistons equivalent since them. The foursome George Hill, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert is devastatingly effective as they crush teams defensively and pick apart with skill and intelligence offensively. None are superstars, but arguably 4 players at an all-star level makes up for it.

But conventional wisdom says, they have the need for (a) Sheed. And the gaping hole is the 2 guard spot where the mediocre Lance Stephenson resides.

If they fall in the playoffs this year, who can be their Sheed acqusition? The available player that jumps out to me is Eric Gordon.

Gordon’s blue chip talent is obvious, but his unhappiness in New Orleans has made his max contract there a disaster. With paltry efficiency this year and unreliable health, the Hornets should not believe in him as a long term piece.

However in Indiana he’s not only going to an elite team, but to his home state and where he played college ball. If there’s any team made to make Gordon happy and motivated again, it’s the Pacers. Whether his production is related to health is another story and on a max contract he’d be a huge risk to take. Another reason Indiana being Gordon’s home state matters, is the Pacers are among the league’s dregs in attendance despite such a great team. Gordon helps the attendance both by being from Indiana and by being a star scorer. Points per game sells players.

While his health, production and contract presents a risk, the upside is no less than an NBA title. Gordon is precisely what the Pacers need in a 2 guard, providing a top scorer beside George who excels at driving to the rim and getting to the line, while being able to hit the outside shot. The lineup of Hill, Gordon, George, West and Hibbert if healthy, is a flawless fit of elite defense, decision making, shooting and post offense. The Pacers somehow getting another blue chip starter on Hill, George, West and Hibbert’s level is just what they need to challenge the Heat in the East and meet their 2004 Pistons destiny.

What could a Gordon acquisition look like? Danny Granger would obviously head out. In New Orleans he’d be an expiring contract who if healthy could help them make a playoff run next year and prove himself worth of a new contract. If Granger is only there for a year, they got out from Gordon’s contract and are free cap-wise to rebuild around Anthony Davis. The Pacers may have to throw in their late 1st round draft pick and/or last year’s 1st Miles Plumlee to sweeten the deal, but those are small prices to pay if they believe in what Gordon can do for their team. The Hornets asking for the talented Stephenson may be harder to swallow for the Pacers, but he’s not an untouchable talent. A 3 team trade with Danny Granger headed to a team more ready to win than New Orleans and the Hornets getting assets back, is also plausible. The Hornets agreeing to a Gordon to Indiana trade would be a hurdle, but a very plausible one.

Long term, Gordon’s contract puts the Pacers in bind with Paul George and David West both likely inking long term deals this year. But if they can build an immediate contending team, those financial hurdles can be a bridge crossed later.

Eric Gordon would present a big risk for the Pacers, but “going for it” with him may be a offer they can’t refuse.

Written by jr.

April 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Make this trade: Danny Granger for the Minnesota 2012 1st (owned by the LA Clippers)

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Chauncey Billups & Danny Granger

Danny Granger would be an excellent fit on the LA Clippers (Image by Jeremy Andrews via Flickr)

I had planned to wait until the lockout ends to make posts about offseason fake trades, but why not single out individual ones – I can just revisit them later. I love this trade in particular:

The LA Clippers trade:

Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 1st

Ryan Gomes (2 years, 8 million)

Randy Foye (4.2 million expiring)

The Indiana Pacers trade:

Danny Granger (3 years, 39 million)

Why should both teams do this?

First, the Clippers side: I truly believe the Clippers are closer to becoming not only good, but a title contender than people give them credit for. The model for building a contending starting lineup is almost always the same. You have your double team magnet superstar, your 2nd all-star caliber scoring – and then beside them, three more key ingredients: Size in the frontcourt, shooters on the perimeter, and enough athleticism to rotate hard defensively. Here’s what the Clippers could be looking at after this trade: A future superstar in Blake Griffin and high end 2nd option in Eric Gordon, surrounded by one of the best PG shooters in Mo Williams, one of the best SF shooters in Danny Granger, and one of the biggest frontcourts in the league with the Deandre Jordan and Chris Kaman C combination. Gordon, Granger, Griffin and Jordan are all athletic players, giving the team fast defensive rotations. Granger I believe could have standout perimeter potential if conserving his energy and fouls more than he does as a 1st option in Indiana. He has the length, basketball IQ and attitude for it.

Is this team missing anything? The biggest hole is a true PG, but the amount of teams who’ve won titles with score first PGs, let alone contended, is surprisingly high. If you have a number of players that willingly move the ball and the offensive star power to create open shots, you don’t *need* a true PG. I believe this team would be fine without that model. After that, the next biggest weakness is likely perimeter scoring off the bench. The team would have a number of ways to address this. PG Eric Bledsoe and SF Al-Farouq Aminu are young players who could either develop into those contributers or be dealt for them. They could also look into an MLE signing to back up one of those positions. Furthermore, Rome was not built in a day and everyone in the immediate core has years left. Granger is 28, but his longevity going forward may be underrated. He has under 15 thousand minutes played total, giving him the legs of a 25 year old player – furthermore, with his height and shooting ability he’s built to still valuable as spot up SF after he loses a step in his mid 30s. Otherwise, if the team failed next year from youth and an undeveloped bench, they’d have years to address this.

This is an aggressive move, especially in light in the team trading the 2011 1st round pick to swap Baron Davis for Mo Williams and having it blow up in their face by Cleveland winning the lottery with it and selecting Kyrie Irving. That’s a sunk cost that has to be forgotten. It should have no implications on future decisions. The Minnesota pick could end at 1st overall and will be for sure if there’s no season, true. But so far the most impressive prospects in college have been SG Jeremy Lamb and PF Anthony Davis – both whom would make no sense for the Clippers beside Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin. C Andre Drummond is in the mix, but he’s looked incredibly raw in college and appears to have a questionable basketball IQ. There’s a chance he could be a Deandre Jordan type C long term. Still, Drummond becoming Dwight Howard 2 on another team is the biggest risk the Clippers make by this trade. The question is whether the reward of making this trade is worth it.

To me it is. This can be one of the most complete teams in the league right now and all the pieces would be there for the Clippers to be relevant for the next decade, while still leaving valuable trade assets in the bank to be flexible modifying the team if it needs to be. When you have the chance to build a complete roster on the table, you have to take the chance before it goes away.

Now, for Indiana: Although they had a respectable 8th seed playoff run next year and everyone generally likes their team and how hard they play – You have to consider the big picture. Where are the Pacers going from here? What is their upside? Can they be anything more than a playoff knockout led by Granger? They are an ideal supporting cast for a great team, but lacking the centerpieces and will be picking low enough in the draft to have no chance at getting one. Sometimes you need to take one step back to take two steps forward. Trading Granger now for the Minnesota pick puts them right in the mix for those star prospects, with possibly two picks deep in the lottery including their own if the team’s record slides to the bottom of the league without Granger. If they land a Jeremy Lamb, Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond and they reach stardom, to go along with Paul George at his natural SF position, Roy Hibbert at C and another good 2012 prospect from their own draft pick – now that’s one hell of a young core with upside to reach the top of the league. As an additional benefit, the Pacers are bleeding money as much as anyone in the league – this helps them cut salary commitment long term.

This trade achieves what both teams want. The Clippers get the stud veteran to compliment their youth as they try to move up the NBA ladder now, and the Pacers give themselves the long term upside they presently lack. Make this trade!

Written by jr.

November 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm

NBA Fan Q&A: Indiana Pacers

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With their ranking of #21 on the NBA Franchise Power Rankings, I asked Indiana Pacers fans on RealGM how they felt about their team:

Q: Are you satisfied with the direction of the team? A lot of people criticize the Pacers for having a ceiling as 1st or 2nd round knockout, without a true superstar to help them contend. Would you trade Danny Granger for a top 5 draft pick next season if you could?

Miller4Ever: The way we are headed is positive. Our young talent crop is promising with the rare true center Roy Hibbert, the guard tandem of Darren Collison and the newly acquired George Hill, energy man Tyler Hansbrough, and the unlimited ceiling of Paul George. The Pacers as they are now won’t make noise in the playoffs for at least another year, and Granger is not getting younger. The team doesn’t have a scorer of Granger’s caliber currently, but there is a great balance of skills from everyone else. If he were to be traded (a top 5 pick is great value for him) somebody would be able to step up.

pacers33granger: A: It’s hard not to be at least satisfied with the direction of the team. Bird and Morway did all they could really with what they had post-brawl. The team has interesting talent at nearly every position and I think pretty much any Pacer fan is intrigued by how Frank Vogel was able to run the team after his mid-season promotion. The team lacks any true star power, but it has the makings of the 90s Pacers teams who may have won a title had they not played during the Jordan era. I think next season would really depend on if I’d be for a Granger move. If we didn’t fill our PF need this year through free agency or a trade and made little progress I’d definitely think about it with the talent in next years draft.

jowglenn: Absolutely. Given where we were a few years ago (dunleavy, murphy, o’neal, granger, no other youth of any note) to where we are now, I’m thrilled. We now have youth, no bad contracts, cap space. Would I trade Granger? Maybe. Depends who it is available in the draft and how we think they will be in the NBA. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

October 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

NBA Franchise Power Rankings: #21 – Indiana Pacers

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Previous rankings:

#30 - Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)
#29 - Phoenix Suns
#28 - Denver Nuggets
#27 - Detroit Pistons
#26 - Milwaukee Bucks
#25 - Philadelphia 76ers
#24 - Houston Rockets
#23 - Portland Trailblazers
#22 - Toronto Raptors

#21 – Indiana Pacers

Danny Granger in October 2009

Image via Wikipedia

Total Trade Value Ranking: #22

Best assets – SF Danny Granger (borderline all-star), C Roy Hibbert (legitimate starter), SF Paul George (young, projects as borderline starter to legitimate all-star), PG Darren Collision (borderline starter), PG/SG George Hill (borderline starter), PF Tyler Hansbrough (borderline starter), SG Brandon Rush (borderline starter), 2012 1st, 2013 1st, AJ Price (bench player)

Other chips: SF James Posey (old expiring)

Bad contracts: SG Dahtnay Jones (2 years, 5.6 million)

Finanical Grade: A+

Managerial Grade: B-

Overall synopsis: The Pacers are a team who’s ranking could change by a month from now because they are prime position for a free agency score once the lockout ends which I’ll address later, but for the purposes of this list they are ranked on their present position. Like teams such as Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Houston, the Pacers have taken a lot of criticism for being “mediocore”, an 8th seed last year without much hope of scoring in the draft to rise on the list. A list based most on total trade value tries to capture this tangibly by counting their draft picks as only marginally valuable compared to other teams near them like Toronto and Cleveland’s. But despite a series of 30 W+ seasons, the Pacers have done an excellent job finding impact players and assets with lesser draft spots. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

October 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

The Indiana Pacers rebuild: Taking advantage of draft mistakes and defensive accountability

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Indiana Pacers logo 2006–present

Image via Wikipedia

One of the newcomers to the playoffs this season are the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers last made the playoffs in 2006 and have been rebuilding since. They’re back with one of the league’s youngest rosters including an all-star scoring SF in Danny Granger, a skilled 7’2 C who plays defense and in the post offensively in Roy Hibbert, an emerging starting PF and former National Player of the year in Tyler Hansbrough and a young SG with star athleticism and fluidity in Paul George. Sounds like a team who cashed in high lottery picks for years, right? Not quite.
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Dissecting Jim O’Brien’s 2010-2011 Pacers failure

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This morning the Indiana Pacers fired Jim O’Brien. O’Brien had a target on his back for years by Pacer fans and their collapse out of a playoff spot the last few months after a good start finally did it.

Much of the O’Brien criticism were based on inconsistent rotations involving players like Darren Collision and Josh McRoberts. But I’d criticize O’Brien more for a stubborn coaching strategy, shown by some team contradictory team peripherals which caught my eye:

First of all, the Pacers are a defensive orientated team. They have one of the largest gaps between defensive rebounding % (6th) and offensive rebounding % (25th) in the league. The low ORB% indicates leaving players back for transition defense instead of sending them to grab offensive rebounds. The high DRB% indicates sending everyone to grab defensive rebounds instead of having leakouts for fastbreak points. Defense first coaches like Scott Skiles, Larry Brown and Tom Thibodeau have their teams play a similar way. The idea is that while they give away these high efficiency shots at the rim from fastbreak and putback shots, they prevent the other team from getting them just as much. This pushes their DRTGs up and their ORTGs down. Unsurprisingly, the Pacers are 9th in DRTG and 24th in ORTG.

But here’s the contradictory part: The Pacers are 7th in pace as of this morning. Usually defense first teams play at a snail’s pace, especially the ones emphazing DRB% over leaking out. With their defensive rebounding focus the Pacers aren’t scoring a ton of easy fastbreak points, so what explains the fast pace? Rather, rushing the ball up the court and taking quick 3s. The Pacers have one of the largest disparities between shots made from 3pt and at the rim, ranking 7th in 3PM and 27th in FGs made at the rim, according to hoopdata.com. The Pacers ranking 29th in FTs per FGA according to basketball-reference.com also shows their lack of offense inside. This 3pt heavy offense is no surprise for those who’ve followed O’Brien’s career. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

January 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm