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NBA / Jan 7, 2011 / 4:30 pm

NBA Trade Pitch: Danny Granger to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson

Danny Granger (photo. Stephen Hill)

As much as I hate sports/dating analogies — I really can’t hear one more comparison between LeBron James leaving Cleveland and somebody breaking off a relationship — when it comes to trades, the process does resemble most club hook-ups: One side wants it, while the other has to be convinced they want it.

In this case, the San Antonio Spurs want it. While the team is sitting atop the NBA with a 29-6 record and are as strong a contender as anybody for the 2011 championship, naturally they have to look toward the future. Tim Duncan‘s production (13.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg) has finally started to dip after 13 years, and Manu Ginobili is 33 years old and scheduled to break down sooner rather than later. In all likelihood, neither of them will be around by the time Tony Parker enters the last year of his recent contract extension in ’14-15 as a 32-year-old.

The Indiana Pacers have somebody who could be an ideal running mate for Parker down the road in All-Star small forward Danny Granger. Indiana just have to be convinced they want to give him up. Here’s a deal that would work:

Spurs get: Danny Granger
Pacers get: Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair, George Hill

Don’t think it can’t happen. Not long ago, Granger (21.1 ppg) was viewed as “untouchable” within the Pacers’ organization as their franchise centerpiece. But according to sources cited by ESPN recently, Indiana has been open to the possibility of trading Granger, who has shown to be more of a streaky shooter than a pure shooter and is criticized for too often settling for long jumpers. Granger has a bit of Brandon Roy-type risk as well, considering injuries have limited him to an average of 64.5 games in each of the last two whole seasons. (He’s missed only one game this season.) Plus the Pacers’ decision-makers have fallen in love with young center Roy Hibbert, who may have taken Granger’s spot as the token “untouchable.”

Meanwhile, the players Indiana would get back in this hypothetical deal all make sense for them. Blair is the exact kind of tough, rebounding power forward the Pacers currently lack, and Hill (and Indianapolis native) would make maligned backup point guard T.J. Ford expendable. Jefferson could take over Granger’s starting SF spot and fits into the team’s up-tempo offense while allowing Hibbert to be The Man. For a franchise that clears a lot of cap space next summer with Mike Dunleavy Jr., Jeff Foster, Jamaal Tinsley and Ford coming off the books, they may see it as the perfect time to start over with Hibbert as the focus.

And while Granger is recognized as Indiana’s franchise guy, he actually doesn’t make an insane amount of money. This season he’s getting paid less than Nene, Luol Deng and Kevin Martin, among others. His addition would mean San Antonio pays four guys in the eight-figure range next season, which Dallas is doing this year and the Lakers are close to doing next year. (Lamar Odom will make $9 million.) These are pretty much standard NBA economics for contending teams.

This trade, if it happened, may not even go down until after the season. The Spurs are in good position to make a run at a championship without shaking up the roster — but bringing in Granger around the deadline actually wouldn’t throw off a lot of what San Antonio is doing provided Tiago Splitter can fill in some of what Blair produces.

Admittedly, the deal does more for the Spurs than the Pacers. But that’s why they pay R.C. Buford, to convince other GMs that they want to do something that benefits him. It’s not like it would be the first time it happened.

What do you think? Would you do this deal if you were San Antonio or Indiana?

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  • jzsmoove

    doesnt seem that Granger is a Popovich type of player, thats a dealbreaker.

  • karizmatic

    Actually I’d switch it around at this point I’d be more open to doing the deal if I was Indiana than if I was San Antonio. I think Jefferson, and Blair fit well with what San Antonio has going on right now and Hill is a guy that I definitely wouldn’t move right now if I was San Antonio. As the Spurs I’d be more likely to do it if I could keep Hill and trade Blair and Jefferson, maybe if they could trade someone else like Neal instead of Hill. But they are 29-6 right now..why mess with chemistry this season? If I’m them I wait until the offseason.

    If I’m Indiana this is kind of a why the hell not trade. Granger is clearly a number 2 option and maybe even a number 3. He’s basically a jump shooter and that’s it, no defense, he doesn’t attack the basket an awful lot and he probably would thrive in a system that involves more running. If Hibbert is the building block over there then I don’t think Granger makes much sense as a number two option. So trading him is a good idea. But really Indiana just doesn’t have a lot of good talent. Why not shake something up?

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    Blair is a beast and a quality starter. He’s too important for what San Antonio does. None of the other bigs on San Antonio really rebound.
    (Sorry McDycess, you’re not a quality starter, only in really low minutes).
    Bonner can only shoot and not really defend, Splitter is just raw.

    There you go no more depth behind Duncan. What Spurs lack are quality big men.

    What would make this more appealing would be doing a three way trade. Move Jefferson and T.Thomas to Indy. Send Granger & Hill & McDycess ($19.5) to Charlotte and move S-Jax, & Ford to SA.

    Spurs get some toughness and deep corner shooting from S-Jax (albiet bad contract). Jefferson is not a spot up shooter.

    Indy gets a adequate replacement in Jefferson and an athletic 4 in Tyrus Thomas to play along side him. Sorry Josh McRoberts you are not the great white hope.

    And Charlotte gets Granger and Hill to form a solid core with Gerald Wallace.

  • JL

    I know Larry has been a horrible GM but this trade is rediculous. I’d personally run his ass out of town if he did this.

  • That’s What’s Up

    No fuckin way they’d part with Hill and Blair

  • Russ

    I’m a Spurs and I love Granger’s game but I just don’t see this happening right now during the season. The trade that Robocop proposed though seems like something feasible. Sure losing Hill would be hard but you can’t pass up on S. Jax. He’s the type of player you can plug in any system (and he already KNOWS this one and not miss a beat). It does make them a lot more older than they already are but they’re in a win now mode anyway right?

  • Manu14

    No way!!
    Not that Granger in a spur uniform is absurd, but giving up Hill and Blair????!!!
    Are you drunk??? lol
    Hill can have Granger’s number on any given night (not on a constant basis yet) and Blair is a beast, a rebounding machine ith great hands (with a bad D/IQ)…

    Not gonna happen…

    PS/ But good to talk about the spurs though… lol

  • the cynic

    Why would the Spurs do this trade? So they can have no depth? Sure, Granger can shoot better then RJ, but what else does he do better? Granger has no big time experience either compared to RJ 2 NBA final appearances. Hell, George Hill and Blair have more experience under pressure than Granger

  • the cynic

    Austin, you think way too highly of Granger’s skill set(or BBall IQ), this trade would kill the Spurs

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    espns trade machine says the trade would work (money wise) with just jefferson and blair.

    i guess someone like hill would need to be thrown in to “entice” the pacers but the spurs have a couple trade exceptions, and could throw in a draft pick or 2 to make it look pretty.

    hill is going to be the next manu for the spurs so when manu is gone parker has a running mate. hill should be off limits.

    the real question, is granger better then RJ or is he just another guy who puts up good numbers on a bad team? i say he is better but not a lot and not a better fit.

  • Mike

    The Pacers have no interest in trading Granger.

    These are rumors that mean nothing.

  • Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    Not happening.

  • yea

    Austin – I was literally offended that you proposed this trade and had to comment on it. Trade suggestions this retarded mitigate your site’s rise as a serious basketball source.

    Lets see – RJ – 13pts, 4 boards, 1.4 assists, 48% FG, 43% trey… Blair, 7×7, 46% FG, George Hill – 11, 3, 2 and 47% fg, 38% trey…

    Granger – 21 pts, 6 boards, 2.5 assists on… 42% fg, 37% trey…

    Why would you give up a solid started in RJ, a hustle/boarding big guy in Blair, and a defensive stopper/glue guy in Hill ALL who all shoot better from the field than granger?

    But it aint even about the stats, Granger is a selfih bitch. He’s been known to run off at the mouth and thinks hes hot shit. The Spurs in losing basically 2 starters and an important big with as well as they’re playing for some dude who is a chucker? Come on sooooooooon.

    If this trade actually goes through – maybe i just dont know shit about basketball but it wont.

  • christian

    ridiculous article..but as a spurs fan and being from san antonio im glad we don’t have dumbass ownership and management to make moves for players that are way overrated….danny granger is nowhere near the combined talent of george hill dejuan blair and richard jefferson….

  • Ryan

    You’re on crack; the Spurs won’t try to fix something that’s not broken. George Hill has been absolutely vital to the Spurs recent success, and the fact that Pop has used the same lineup in EVERY game so far this season says a number of things. Team chemistry has been key, and shipping out two starters and a potential Sixth Man OTY candidate for a streaky player on a bad team is not something the Spurs will look to do.

  • futuristic handgun

    danny granger is a franchise player. he needs another scorer to carry the load if the pacers are to improve. offensively and defensively he is superior to blair or hill. most importantly, he plays best the tougher the opponent. i dont think Larry will trade a guy like that

  • Jade

    Thanks futuristic handgun, I was having a pretty low day until you made me laugh :)

  • 45%

    lol……..parting with george hill.

    thats their future.

  • 45%

    lol……..parting with george hill.

    thats their future.