Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger could be what puts the team over-the-top next season, as they were able to take the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals despite not having their star scorer. Granger’s offense could have pushed the Pacers over the Heat, but that’s just speculation on my part. Speculation is something Granger is going to continue to be involved in, especially this offseason with trade rumors flying around regarding Granger, who is heading into the final year of his deal with the Pacers.
According to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, sources say that the Indiana Pacers are “leaning at present toward” keeping Danny Granger on the team and off the trade market. Granger is set to return from a severe knee injury next season, but all is going well for him and he is expected to be fully healthy by training camp. The 30-year-old SF will likely reclaim his starting gig, but that’s not guaranteed with youngster Lance Stephenson looking to stay the course. Granger knows he is older and less effective, and he actually wants to defer to the young talent around him in Indiana instead of trying to reclaim his status as the alpha dog in the Pacers offense.
Now the trade rumors dealing with Granger are going to keep circulating, and ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Granger. He is one of their trade targets, and the Clippers are going to be very aggressive this offseason going after guys like the Pacers veteran scorer. The Pacers are only “leaning toward” keeping Granger, and that can all change quickly, especially if the Clippers or another team give the Pacers an offer that they cannot refuse. The Pacers, though, want to keep Granger for his final year in order to see if he is the piece to put the Pacers over the Heat and into the NBA Finals (or something like that), but I would think the Pacers will reconsider if they get a great offer.