Doc Rivers traded spare forwards Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens for scraps just prior to the trade deadline last week, effectively declaring the Clippers open for business on the eventual buyout market in the process. Just a few days later, the team picked up veteran forward Glen Davis, who had been bought out by Orlando.
With one vacant roster spot remaining, the team has reportedly turned its focus to former Pacers forward Danny Granger, who reached a buyout agreement with the 76ers on Wednesday. Granger had become expendable for Indiana with the emergence of both Paul George and Lance Stephenson as All-Star caliber players, meaning the team was able to pawn his contract off to Philadelphia in exchange for Evan Turner, who should bolster Indy’s bench.
Granger is still just 30 years old, though recent injuries have sapped him of much of his athleticism, meaning his best playing days are likely behind him. However, the Louisiana native can still likely be a solid wing contributor.
In 29 games for the Pacers this season, Granger has shot just 35% from the floor, but has connected on a respectable 33% of his shots from deep. It would make sense for the Clippers to pursue another big man with their last spot, as the rotation behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan currently consists of Davis, Ryan Hollins and Hedo Turkoglu. Davis looked fine in his debut for L.A. in Wednesday’s win over Houston, but Hollins and Turkoglu have no business on the court for a legitimate championship contender.
Unfortunately, no such big man is just floating out there on the open market. In order for a player to be eligible to participate in the playoffs, he has to be waived by his current team prior to the March 1st deadline. Granger will officially come free on the evening of the 28th, making him eligible. The only other two players reportedly also in buyout discussions are Kings guard Jimmer Fredette and Bucks forward Caron Butler, a former Clipper, of course. Neither player figures into the Clippers’ plans in all likelihood.
Granger has been a small forward throughout his career, but he is 6’9″, so it stands to reason Doc Rivers could run him out there as a small-ball 4 in certain lineups. He can stretch the floor better than someone like Davis, and he literally cannot be any worse than Turkoglu. Factor in Jared Dudley’s disappointing first season in L.A. thus far and Granger probably has a pretty decent role.
He’s interested in joining a title contender, so he’s reportedly also receiving interest from teams like San Antonio, Chicago, Houston and Miami. ESPN and Yahoo! Sports have both deemed the Clippers “frontrunners” to sign Granger.
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who has been magnificent of late, went down halfway through the game against Houston with a calf injury and didn’t return. He’s scheduled to have an MRI Thursday. If he is to miss any significant time, the Clippers’ need for Granger obviously grows quite a bit, especially with J.J. Redick already on the shelf indefinitely.
Is Granger the type of player that would put the Clippers over-the-top? Of course not. He won’t be asked to do much in Los Angeles other than space the floor and knock down a few three-pointers. The Clippers currently rank 23rd in the league in three-point percentage, so clearly some reinforcement there can’t hurt.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.