As the old adage goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But apparently the Indiana Pacers didn't get the memo.
Team President Larry Bird pulled the trigger on a move that has seen veteran Danny Granger go to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner (and Lavoy Allen), in hopes of solidifying their championship charge. But how will it affect them?
Indy currently boast a 41-13 record, placing them two wins behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and atop the Conference standings looking down on the reigning Champions the Miami Heat (39-14) in the woeful East.
Their secret to success has been down to great team chemistry (and suffocating defense of course) because every player more-or-less knows and understands their role. Adding Turner to the mix complicates things. And that could be a killer for the Pacers.
By no means am I suggesting that Evan Turner is such problem in the locker room and that everything he touches turns to ash. That would be Andrew Bynum. However Evan is in his contract year.
Finally this his chance to prove that he’s not a bust after going No. 2 overall and drifting into mediocrity.
Plus he can prove that he can produce at the next level after being named the NCAA's Player of the Year in 2010, and to show to his future employers he is worth the big contract he no doubt seeks.
Granted, being able to win an NBA Championship would look good on his CV, but what good will it do when it comes to negotiating a new contract?
His addition also confuses things for Lance Stephenson, who has been the absolutely fantastic this year.
He is able to do it all and create for his teammates as illustrated by his league leading four triple-doubles this season, all because he knows that when Paul George is off the court, he will have the ball in his hands and be allowed to do pretty much as he wishes.
Turner does pretty much the same thing.
So does the Cincinnati product now defer to Turner who needs the ball just as much to be effective? Or will he try to do too much to prove that he is the top dog? After all, it’s also Stephenson's contract year and he too wants a big payday.
Lastly, by trading away Danny Granger, the Indiana Pacers lose one of the the wise old heads in the locker room.
He has seen the bad times and was starting to see the good times with the franchise. Moreover he was one of the key figures that helped groom Paul George. And when Granger injuries derailed him, he was willing to take a step back and let PG shine. He is someone the superstar looks up to and was one of the leaders in the locker room.
Nonetheless the NBA is a business and as such there, is no time for sentimentality.
Granger was a trade asset thanks to his expiring contract and Indiana needed an upgrade on their terrible bench -ranked 26th in the NBA at 25.9 points per game. Turner will no doubt add to that as the fourth year swingman was averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds in Philly, during what was shaping up to be a his best season in the NBA.
Plus the move allows the Paul George to play the 3 full time, unlike when he was playing alongside Granger.
At the end of the day only time will tell how beneficial the trade was, though at first glance it does appears to be a good bit of business, especially when you consider that Danny Granger was posting 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per night.
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