The Indiana Pacers have acquired an established scorer and shed salary, while the Philadelphia 76ers continued to collect future assets and expiring deals after the two teams agreed to a deal just before the league’s trade deadline.
The Indiana Pacers have added even more talent to their already formidable roster after sending Danny Granger’s expiring contract to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen and a 2015 second-round draft pick.
Indiana, who already lead the Eastern Conference with a 41-13 record, tick several boxes after adding the talented Turner to their roster, giving them an offensive weapon to add to their second unit, shedding several million dollars salary, and getting some insurance at shooting guard incase unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson can be lured away by another team in the offseason.
In his fourth season with the Sixers, Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points to go with 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 blocks per game. He has struggled somewhat shooting the ball, hitting only 42.8% from the floor and 28.8% from beyond the arc this season. But as the no. 1 offensive option on a struggling Philadelphia squad, Turner was facing the best defender on each team he came up against. The former second overall pick should have a much easier time playing against second units off the Pacers’ bench.
Turner is also a restricted free agent, so the Pacers’ will have the right to match any offer sheet an opposing team gives him in the offseason. This is an underrated aspect of the deal, with Indiana facing the potential of breakout guard Stephenson, who is an unrestricted free agent, receiving a big-money contract in the offseason.
The former Ohio State swingman is also a valuable crunch-time scorer, having hit two game-winners already this season, which is something Indiana couldn’t rely on Granger to do.
The 76ers, who did not plan to re-sign Turner during the offseason, have been shopping him all year.
Likewise, the Pacers have been hoping to move Granger’s expiring contract for an established player that can give them immediate help in the playoffs.
Initially, Philadelphia were looking for a first-round pick for Turner, but after receiving little interest, Indiana were able to take advantage of the situation and come to terms on a deal surrounding Granger’s $13 million expiring contract and a future second-round selection.
Granger was the Pacers’ longest tenured player and a one-time former All-Star. However, after struggling with knee and leg injuries in recent seasons (missing more than 100 games over the past three seasons), his production has dwindled and the emergence of Paul George made him expendable.
In 29 games since returning from injury this season, the former University of New Mexico star was averaging just 8.3 points shooting only 35.9% on field goals and 33.0% from three-point range.
Granger has averaged over 20 points per game three times in his career, including 25.8 per night during his lone All-Star season. But those days are long behind him. It is unlikely he will ever be the prolific scorer he once was for the Sixers, but he will be a valuable locker room presence for Philadelphia’s young team.
Allen, a third-year reserve, was averaging 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 51 games this season. His $3 million contract also comes off the books at the season’s end.
Philadelphia made three deadline day deals, also trading starting centre Spencer Hawes to Cleveland in exchange for Earl Clark and Henry Sims, and acquiring Byron Mullens from the Los Angeles Clippers, along with Granger and a total of five second-round picks over the next two years.