While the 2014 installment of the NBA’s annual trade deadline was anything but climatic, the most intriguing deal came from Larry Bird’s Pacers and the 76ers. Long-time face-of-the-franchise Danny Granger is headed East while Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen head to the squad with the conference’s best record.
1. Indy is obviously stock piling big men for an expected date in the conference finals with Miami. Including this most recent deal, the Pacers now have 30 fouls a game to throw at LeBron with Roy Hibbert, Ian Mahinmi, Luis Scola, Andrew Bynum and Lavoy Allen. Pending, you know, Bynum isn’t salsa dancing in Portugal in a motorcycle jacket and bellbottoms by May.
2. The Danny Granger story is still one of the more amazing we have in the league. Two years ago, Paul George was his wingman and Granger was the unquestioned top dog in Indy. Two years later, George is viewed as a budding superstar and Granger’s handed a pink slip. Injuries are a bitch. And life comes at you fast.
3. Evan Turner. Hmmm, well, he’s an upgrade off the bench in comparison to Granger. That’s a plus. He put up some rather respectable numbers in Philly, too (17-6-4). His playmaking skills have improved. Perhaps not former number two overall pick level playmaking worthy, but improved nonetheless. Yet, talk to any Sixers fan. There’s a reason 95% of them are ecstatic Turner’s gone.
And this is according to the people who saw him play the most. He’s a liability and then some on the defensive end. The Pacers overall defensive identity will mask a lot of his ineptitudes on that side of the rock. However, there will come a time when Frank Vogel sticks him on either Dwyane Wade or LeBron James. And things could get ugly really quick, really fast.
4. Philly is embracing the tank and daring Adam Silver to call them out on it. Even with the unexpectedness of the lottery, they’re all but guaranteed to get at least a top three pick this June and will enter the offseason with a shitload of cash to throw around. Tack on Granger’s expiring deal and salute to Philly’s front office. Oh, and weirdly enough, Philly does have nine second round draft picks at this point.
That’s 30% of an entire round going to one team.