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Pacers president Larry Bird says he’s not looking to trade Danny Granger

Dec 21, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Danny Granger AP

Danny Granger returned to action for the Pacers on Friday, playing 22 minutes off the bench in his team’s blowout win over the Rockets.

Exactly how much Granger can contribute to Indiana’s efforts at title contention this season remains to be seen, but whether he produces near his previous levels or he doesn’t, his situation is an interesting one for the team to consider.

If Granger becomes a cog in the machine that fits in seamlessly and legitimately boosts his team’s championship chances, then it’s likely the club will ride him through the end of the season and into his status as an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the team will also look at trade options, considering that Granger’s deal is an expiring one that could net the team assets which would help continue the run with the rest of the league’s elite.

For now, however, Indiana is content with seeing what they have in Granger, and isn’t looking to trade him anytime soon.

From Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star:

“I’ve talked to Danny, talked to his agent; I’m not looking to trade him,” team President Larry Bird said Saturday. “But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it, but I’m not out there looking at deals.”

If the Pacers did deal Granger —and he’d have to be healthy for anybody to want him — they’d have to take back $14 million in salary commitments. That means bringing back guys who are in the final year of their contract, along with trade exceptions.

“We couldn’t take back guys who are going to be $14 million next year,” Bird said.

The luxury tax is a real concern for a smaller market team like the Pacers, and Bird’s mandate right now is that the team cannot pay it. Now, that’s not to say that they wouldn’t pay it under the right set of circumstances, but all signs now point to Indiana dealing within the boundaries of the league’s salary cap.

Granger wants to stay in Indiana, but the question becomes at what price. The level he plays at moving forward will have a lot to say about that, but for now both Bird and his player seem content to play out the season and deal with contracts and personnel issues only when absolutely necessary.

  1. dezglobal - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    $14 million is a lot of money.. I say he gets delt.

  2. antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    This is Ainge-speak. He’s looking at deals.

    • 1historian - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Of course he is – he always is, and any GM who isn’t always doing the same shouldn’t be a GM.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Well there are plenty of GMs that are able to do business without sounding like Danny Ainge. It should be avoided, if possible.

  3. 1historian - Dec 22, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Danny Ainge – GM Celtics

    Larry Bird – GM Pacers

    Kevin McHale – GM Rockets

    All former Celtics (1986 Champs best team ever), all learned under Red Auerbach, none inclined to tip his hand in trade season.

    If there is no story and you have a deadline to make, make up a story.

    Nothing here folks, just move on.

  4. xli2006 - Dec 22, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    It’s a pretty good situation considering the time missed. With a 20-5 start without him and the success last yr ( a season which he basically missed in full) they dont have to force him back and benefit from either keeping or trading him.

    If they keep him they have a 12 million dollar expiring contract and a potential huge scoring addition to the bench. The combo of Paul George / Danny Granger at the 2/3 could be scary if he stays healthy.

    If they trade him they can get pieces to help bolster a potential contending team and save some $ to sign Lance longer term.

    Either way this is probably Danny’s last stretch w/ the Pacers. I’d be eager to see him finish the yr with them since he’s never been involved since PG emerged.

  5. frank35sox - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    The only reason they won’t trade him is they need his expiring contract to free up money to lock up born ready.

  6. redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I would imagine Granger would get traded for expiring contracts and a low pick. That would allow Indiana to avoid the salary implications and get back some future value. It’s tough though to find the right deal to fit into 14 mil. That’s a high number.

  7. imthedudedude - Dec 22, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Are you sure? The suns would certainly like to have a conversation with you about that.

  8. bougin89 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I’m not sold that the Pacers could get better value than holding onto Granger at this point.

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