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If the Pacers are going to trade Granger, which I have long been an advocate of them doing, they need to address one of two areas:
If they feel Lance Stephenson isn't the answer as a starting SG, either his upside on offense or defense, they must address that position for the long term. Unless they feel Orlando Johnson is enough of a prospect and Lance has become a bridge in light of Granger's injury. Paul George is best at SF. It is clearly a position he can guard and rebound from, and it's a position on most nights he's quicker than his defender.
They need to address their PF position for at least the next two years, if not longer. If they feel David West will resign for a similar contract for two years, that keeps their current core at the same contract level through 2015. Even assuming George would sign an extension, Granger comes off the books in 2014. Signing West for a similar contract or mild raise would still just give the Pacers three players with 8-figure contracts.
If they feel both of these areas are certain for the next two years, I'd keep Granger through at least the year. His $14M final year could be a great deal for a team looking to get out of cap hell.
It seems, being that we're in Indy, Granger is often paired with Eric Gordon in deals. I'm always hesitant to like that because of Gordon's injury history. That still is the case despite Granger's current health status. I wouldn't mind an Arron Afflalo package for Granger if they felt he could space the floor on a good team. He's a good defender, and I'd gladly take that with his 2010-2011 year of 49% FG, 42% 3pt, and 12.6 ppg along with a pick. (This would assume West signs for a two year deal after this year.)
Going back to Stephenson/Johnson being future options. If they like either or both are long term options, even if it's just a matter of fitting into Vogel's system, then you push Granger for a youthful PF with a bright future, even if it's a gamble. I saw a deal involving Thomas Robinson on this board. I like that as part of a package for Granger, so long as the Pacers are truly committed to Hibbert. Robinson could be a rebounder and solid offensive presence, but he isn't going affects at the rim. Like West, he would be a nice compliment to Hibbert.
Have we talked about how much I like Royce White's potential, especially offensively, and how he'd be much better in the East than in the West, as well as a great compliment to Hibbert? (Well, I just did.)
If Royce White retires without ever playing a game, people will start talking about how he had LeBron potential...
But he has no jump shot, no defense and he said that he hasn't been working out or playing basketball on his own since the whole drama started. If he doesn't even love basketball, what kind of potential is that?
As for Granger, I don't want him traded unless it's a no-brainer type of deal. Maybe if Donnie comes across another Jermaine / Ron type of deal that includes a youngster with legit star potential (among other things), I could see some sense in that.
It would be nice to get the kind of deals that landed JO and Ron in Pacer uniforms. Both trades were great for the Pacers, brawl notwithstanding, as was the trading of JO to Toronto.
I just don't happen to think PG and DG are best on the same team, as PG's best position is at the SF. It would be great if the Pacers could address longer term solutions at SG and PF if they don't feel a solution is within their control. I'm assuming that player, especially at SG, would be an intergal part of the Pacers' playoff push this year.