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Trade Deadline Winners/Losers: It’s a good day to be a Pacers fan

Feb 20, 2014, 9:24 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

It was the day of the role player.

There was a fair amount of action at the NBA’s trade deadline but none of it involved the big names that floated around a little — no Rajon Rondo or Pau Gasol, and Kevin Love was never in play. Still, some teams made smart moves, and some players did not have a good day.

Yes, it’s really too early to know who will be the winners and losers from the trade deadline, but we’re going to do it anyway.

WINNER: Evan Turner and the Indiana Pacers. Indiana rolled the dice here but you have to love a contending team willing to take smart risks to get better. Larry Bird showed some stones with this move. Evan Turner could be a big winner too — and could make himself a lot of money. Indiana shipped out Danny Granger, who since his return from knee surgery was a shadow of his former All-Star self — 8.3 points a game with a true shooting percentage of 49.1. Evan Turner is better scorer right now than Granger — he’s not better from three (although Evans showed a much better touch shooting 36 percent from deep last season) but he is a slashing volume scorer putting up 17 points a game and doing it with a true shooting percentage of 50.4 (below the league average but better than Granger). Turner brings to the Pacers’ second unit the kind of attacking Lance Stephenson brings to the Pacers’ first unit — just not nearly as efficiently. That is the key. Turner has benefited (and inflated his scoring totals) with the fast pace the Sixers play at, but the Pacers are betting he come in and put up numbers off the bench for Indiana. The question is how will he fit the system? Can he be effective when not pounding the rock for seven seconds than driving? Can he work off the ball? Can he defend? Can he play well with C.J. Watson and Luis Scola and blend in as a scorer? If the answer to those questions is yes not only did the already imposing Pacers get better, they got deeper (Lavoy Allen also can add some shooting to the bench). And if he shows he can fit in with a team like this, Turner will make himself more money as a free agent this summer.

LOSER: Thaddeus Young. Evan Turner is competing for a title with the Pacers now. Spencer Hawes is going to Cleveland to get passes from Kyrie Irving and see if he can help lift a team that won six in a row into the playoffs. Thaddeus Young is stuck in Philadelphia without those guys. Young is a proud, professional veteran and this kind of losing and struggling with a young team can’t be fun. Now he gets to do it alone… well except for Danny Granger.

WINNER: Golden State Warriors. Klay Thompson is second in the NBA in total minutes played. Stephen Curry is 15th on that list. That’s a lot of minutes for a guy in Curry with an injury history. Mark Jackson has had to ride his starting backcourt because of a lack of quality guard depth — Steve Blake fixes that. He is rock solid, can play the one and the two, shoots the three ball, plays well in space or in the half court, he is just a top-to-bottom professional guard. Exactly the kind of guy that the Warriors needed. Golden State stumbled before the All-Star break, this is the kind of move they needed.

LOSER: Danny Granger. You can’t feel too bad for a guy in the last year of a $13 million contract, but this had to be emotional and hard for him. Pacers fans on twitter seemed torn — their heads knew this was a smart trade by Larry Bird, but they are still emotionally invested in Danny Granger, and in his comeback. Now he gets ripped out of the place he has ever played as a pro and thrown onto a rebuilding team in Philly. That’s rough.

WINNER: Charlotte Bobcats. Charlotte may not have come into this season looking to make the playoffs, but after their fast start and now as the eight seed in the East, they don’t want to give it up. This move helps that. The Bobcats need floor-spacing shooting — Al Jefferson scores on the block and Kemba Walker is a slasher, but they need shooters and they got one in Gary Neal (36 percent from three this season, 39 percent for his career). Neal will not be asked to play the point and create in Charlotte (which is a good thing for all basketball fans), he just needs to shoot. In addition he has plenty of playoff experience from his time in San Antonio. While Ramon Sessions is a solid guard off the bench, he’s a scoring slasher, he is not a passer. Now the Bobcats bring in a solid, professional backup pure point guard in Luke Ridnour who will orchestrate the second unit. With talent around him he makes good decisions. Charlotte got better with this trade — they are just 1.5 games out of the five seed in the East and they have to look at climbing the ladder now, not worrying about who is behind them (they just swept a home-and-home from the Pistons anyway).

LOSER: Jimmer Fredette. There are just not a lot of Fredette fans in front offices around the NBA. According to reports, the Kings were asking for a second round pick for Fredette and nobody wanted to take that deal. Fredette is making $2.4 million this season and no other team thought that cost and a second pick was worth Fredette, which seems a little bit of a surprise but that is how far his stock has fallen.

WINNER: Andre Miller. Freedom, sweet freedom. He had been banished to Brian Shaw’s dog house in Denver, now he gets a chance in Washington to be the veteran voice in the locker room (along with Nene) and get some quality minutes behind John Wall. Now, Miller is an outspoken veteran and let’s just say not every one of his former players is a big Randy Wittman fan — fireworks are a real possibility — but for now Miller gets to play and be a part of a team again, and that is a win.

LOSER: We the fans. We love trades, we love to play GM and find a way we can get LeBron James and Paul George to our team and all we have to give up is an aging veteran and a case of ankle tape. And in years past we’ve seen some monster trade deadline moves in the NBA. Not the last two years. For one, the new CBA shortened contracts and teams got to amnesty their worst ones, so the day of “take my expiring contract, please” are gone. In addition, teams are hesitant to give up picks both because they like the draft (this year’s in particular but the next couple are also good) and because under the new CBA rookie contracts are important. Also, more and more deals just get done in the summer or earlier in the season (Rudy Gay and Luol Deng this season, for example). I can explain the “why?” That doesn’t make it any more fun — we love big splashy deadline day trades and we haven’t seen those for a couple of years now. And we may not for a while.

  1. steelerfanforlife - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Agreed with all your winners/losers! I’m a Bulls fan but I love what the Pacers did! Feel a little bad for Granger but hopefully he’ll continue to recover this year and then come to the Bulls to be a 6th man next year to stick it to the Pacers!

  2. jolink653 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Evan Turner has the potential to make the Pacers scary good with the scoring ability he’s gonna bring off the bench, and they got him cheaply too.

    I thought Cleveland was also a winner for getting a solid player like Hawes for nothing of high value. He’s gonna give them another solid presence underneath the basket and he should fit in well with a Cavs team that has looked a lot better of late

    • imthewiz77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      Evan Turner is one of the least efficient players in the NBA. His WARP is below replacement level and Pacers will soon learn that he is extremely ball dominant, can’t shoot and settles for mid range jumpers. Yes he scores a lot of points because he is an average player on the worst team in the league (-10.5 point differential), give anyone 20 shots a game and they can put up points. He’ll shoot < 43% from the field and <30% from three.

      • ryanrockzzz - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:42 AM

        But honestly, Indiana isn’t looking for Turner to come in and be even their 3rd option on this team. If you look at it purely from a 30-50 game rental, why woudln’t you want Turner over Granger. Granger has no range or quickness left in his game, whereas Turner is athletic and is a better scorer at this point. Now if they extend him a qualifying offer next year, then I can see where the argument comes into play about his skill set as relates to the money he’s making. I actually think Turner needs to be on a team where he can start and handle the ball a ton, which doesn’t make Indiana the ideal fit long term- but he certainly has to be an upgrade for the rest of this year.

      • nickjackalson - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        Remember some years ago, when Denver was looking like it was seriously experimenting with lineups featuring long athletic players, the greyhound types, when they went and got Corey Brewer, Anthony Randolph and Javale
        (it never worked the way I would have liked..and that team got broken up at hte departure of George Karl) ..
        .. but what Indy is doing kind of reminds me of the same..they collect versatile wing players..the do-it-all type, that defends, rebounds, assists and scores..true the players I´m thinking of are at somewhat different stages of their evolution…but getting a young Evan Turner can´t really hurt if you already happen to have Paul George and Lance Stephenson, it rather helps continuity in the style the Pacers play…more than having an ex-all star-disgruntled volume scorer come off your bench

      • imthewiz77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Evan Turner is not athletic.

      • thesixersbench - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Thank you for speaking the truth. Evan Turner has negative trade value – believe me, Hinkie called anyone who would listen regarding Turner and this is the biggest bite he could get.

        I mistakenly thought Turner was going to be an All-Star caliber player when he was drafted. He is not that – he is not even close to that. I’m not saying he can’t perform admirably within the right role in Indiana….but these ARE professionals…and amongst those..he’s close to the bottom of the barrel.

      • imthewiz77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Agreed everyone who thinks Turner is going to be a huge impact for Indy needs to realize that the best offer the sixers got for this “difference maker” is the second worst pick in the draft

  3. sasquash20 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    I love what the Sixers did. They have just locked up a top 3 pick in my opinion. Pacers made a good move, I think that is exactly the kind of team Turner is built for.Also Sixers got a bunch of picks ( should help pay off pick to Heat) to throw around. And they get the Pelicans pick. Hopefully that pick ends up top 15(but Davis is sick). Looks like a very deep draft.

    • ewyorksockexchange - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      I completely agree. The sixers were able to get modest assets for turner, Allen, and hawes, while reducing their penalty for being below the salary floor. Given that turner and hawes were definitely going to leave, I think Philly did a decent job of acquiring picks for players that were going to leave in free agency anyway. And it definitely helps their tank strategy to unload their leaders in rebounds and points.

      You have to feel bad for Thad, though. He’s under contract and will be forced to cope with a bad team for a few years throughout the building process. Look for him to put up big scoring numbers now that turner and hawes are gone.

    • sumkat - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      Agreed. Plus they still have Young on the roster, who could still be a good piece for the rebuild (only 25), especially if they decide to make their 2 picks this year, and try to make a splash in FA too. I don’t think they will, I think they’ll take their picks this year, let those guys, Noel, and MCW get a year together, go through the lottery again, THEN try to make the splash with that core already in place (Plus there is no way Richardson isn’t going to exercise his option, so that will be another 6 mil off the books next year, that’s not happening this year)

      But he should also be good to keep if they decide to keep him long term, a more “traditional” rebuild would take about 3-4 years, which would leave him at 28-29, not a bad number.

      Or worst case, they can still try to move him in the off-season, or at next years deadline.

      But to me, the only guy I would of wanted around after the deadline was Young, and he is the only one left out of the 3, so I can’t complain

      • ryanrockzzz - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:46 AM

        Sumkat- you think the Sixers package Young and a 2 in the draft for a third No. 1? I could see that happening.

      • sumkat - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Only way that happens is if someone they REALLY like slips towards the end of the round, and they can’t believe he’s still around. I think most teams at the end of the 1st would probably rather have a 2nd (or even 3rd) second round pick on that deal than they would Young’s contract

        If they kept Young around at this point, I would expect him to be around to start the next season. He plays a tough, hard nosed game, and is a good example for the young guys. Next year’s deadline is a different story. That will depend on how they do next year. If they get 2 good picks, and Noel/MCW mesh well with them, they may not want to move Young next year.

        But if it’s a slower building process than that, I would think he’s gone next year at the deadline

  4. savvybynature - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Most fans I have talked to found the trade deadline day to be pretty interesting actually. No blockbusters but plenty of small moves to give the fans of many teams something to talk about, plus some interesting buy outs appear to be likely. Seems like the media is actually more disappointed than the fans to be honest.

  5. rajbais - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Granger can always get a buyout and sign with a contender.

    The Bobcats can’t be a “winner” because MJ still owns them.

    Also, evan Turner is not mature or proven to be comfortable as a bench or secondary player. He’s meant to start and will likely have rhythm issues.

    • fanofthegame79 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      Speaking of Granger and buy outs – it’s been kicked around that if he does get bought out, he may land in Miami. Now that could be real interesting. And if they could create one more roster spot (don’t ask me how or who), but Big Baby Davis was just bought out of his contract… Let’s see what you have, Mr. Riley.

      • cruzan80 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Granger & Lebron damn near came to blows two years ago……not happening buddy.

  6. jbeagles23 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Up until today pacer fans were on here talking about how Great their bench was cause of granger. Turner played for an awful team so his stats might as well just be thrown out and he can’t play d

  7. krebsy34 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    This is mostly in response to the loser “we the fans” part. I will preface this by saying I have a hockey fan through and trough and I think hockey is the greatest game. However I have lately gotten into the NBA and have been learning the game and what basketball brings to the table.

    You have so many teams investing so much money into young players. Players that are what maybe 2 years out of high school and then what 2 years after they are drafted they can more than most of our entire families will make while we’re alive. I think if they were to make it so that the college players stay in school longer then they’d be a more polished product when they get to the NBA right. Then 2 years after they were drafted they would be older and there would be more emphasis on keeping said player or shipping that player off for whatever than can get.

    From how I look at it, you have to improve the benches. The better your bench is the less turnover you have. That’ll allow you to develop the D-League. This will allow teams to trade players more often and not worry about losing too much.

    Though maybe that’s why it is the way it is, because if players are moved less often that means that the players are valued higher and Superstars are less likely to be moved. I heard on a broadcast recently, I think they were talking about Anthony and the Knicks and how the CBA is designed for top players to spend something like 6 years with their drafting team. I think this is a good idea, Drafting teams don’t want to lose their investment and everything.

    You know what, maybe the game is good the way it is. But when college basketball had really good older players the NBA was good back then too right?

    Or what if they allowed a bit more body contact than they do now. If you allow more contact it’ll cut down on the flopping. Right now I don’t get why players will foul someone while they are mid layup and they have essentially already made the basket. LIke lay that guy out! If you are gonna give him that free extra point you better make him think twice about the next time he get in that spot next time. Now the way the fouls are called defense appears to be just glorified pylons.

    On just a more personal opinion note, I’d love to see basketball players play more for each other rather than themselves. I’d love to see more players get hurt and keep playing. I keep remembering Lebron getting carried off because he was dehydrated or Wade getting taken off in a wheel chair because of a dislocated shoulder. However you see other sports where players are worried about hurting themselves further but worried about letting down their teammates. When you have players like Nate Robinson, not that he’s a bad player or person I actually like him cause he’s short and I’m short and like to root for the short guys in anything, but that he said he want’s to play for every team in the NBA. That isn’t something a true teammate says, true teammates would give the rest of their careers to win a championship for their current teammates.

    Perhaps this comment was just a waste of time. Or maybe if it just gets people thinking about how to make the game better and think about it, that’d be cool. There is no need to reply and tell me to “stick to hockey because I don’t know anything about basketball” because I already know you’re right. Though I am all about getting people thinking and feeling passionate about the game they love. If I’ve done anything like that, then I guess I’m glad I posted this comment.

  8. velocirep - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:42 AM

    All I’m saying, if the pacers can’t beat the Heat with this squad, they won’t ever in this generation. Stockton/ Malone era Jazz written all over them

  9. 00maltliquor - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Losers: 76ers

    They didn’t get crap for Turner or Hawes. 2nd rd. Picks. Lmao

    I feel bad for Danny Granger though. I’ll feel even worse for him if Indy wins it all this year! All that time spent, re-building, building, blood, sweat and tears he put in in Indiana just to get cast aside to some JV team.

    IND came up for absolutely nothing. Larry Bird didn’t need any “stones” to make that obvious cherry pick.

  10. lenbias34pt - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    The Pacer deal in interesting because it’s a trade of one guy who put up #’s on a bad team for another guy who put up #’s for a bad team.
    Those kind of guys are always available and always excite the new team fans………..and disappoint’m.

    As a Pacer fan, I just hope Evan cuts some body fat and embraces D E F E N S E !

    but I know to have my doubts

  11. cltcsfan33 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    This being an arm of NBC, I really expect professionalism in reporting. One grammatical error after another just screams for either new writers or, ya know, maybe an editor? Hit me up, NBC, and we can talk about my contract.

  12. sixerstrong - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    I think Pacers fans should start tempering expectations. Turner is inefficient, has severe attitude problems and an overly inflated view of his own worth.

    Plus, never in the history of baskeball has anyone uttered the phrase “That last minute trade deadline deal for a 7th man was the final piece to the championship puzzle.”

  13. adoombray - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Fantastic article besides the ball of “already said a thousand times” / cliche at the bottom. The Turner for Granger explanation was really good stuff though. As a guy who really just loves good basketball more than any particular team I’m a little sad to see Granger go too. The Pacers have been nipping at LeBron’s heels since his title run started and it was a little sad to see Granger not get a piece of whatever they have coming. It’s a huge upgrade in scoring for a team that could absolutely run with Miami already

  14. cruzan80 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    I don’t know how I feel about the Granger/Turner trade. At first I thought “wow, great trade for the Pacers.” Then I thought about it a little bit & I’m not so sure anymore. The Pacers are built on depth & cohesiveness. No, Granger is no longer an All Star but he’s still a solid player who knows how to play in big games witch WILL come in May. It would not have surprised me one bit if Granger had at least one big game against the Heat in the playoffs. Turner strikes me as a “looter in a riot” type player. Players who put up big numbers yet have absolutely zero effect on the team’s success worry me. Also, what does this do to their locker room? Granger was liked & respected by his teammates….I’m assuming this might leave a bitter taste in some of their mouths.

    I know the numbers clearly show that Turner is an “upgrade” but imma take the “wait & see” approach with this one.

  15. money2long - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    what if the pacers use turner as a big point guard for stretches

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