While this year’s NBA trade deadline went more like a “Best of CSPAN” marathon than the typical big headline, transaction flurry that every late February brings in the Association, the Indiana Pacers improved without making a move.
No career All-Star selection was traded at the deadline for the first time since 2007 and thankfully the Indiana Pacers helped end that streak by not shipping away 2009 All-Star Danny Granger.
Ever since the Pacers drafted Paul George in 2010, Granger has been mentioned in countless trade rumors. Those rumors only intensified this season as the 6-foot-9 small forward has so far missed all of the 2012-13 season with a knee injury and George has emerged as the All-Star that fans and analysts expected.
George is averaging career-highs of 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season without Granger yet to see the floor. But the eight-year veteran is on the verge of returning from injury any day now.
Why people think that Granger and George cannot co-exist is mindboggling. These are not brand new teammates playing together for the first time. Their playing styles won’t just suddenly stop meshing.
Indiana made the playoffs both years since George was drafted and appear to be heading towards a top three finish in the East this season (2-0 against No. 1 Miami, 2-1 against No. 2 New York), even without Granger yet to hit the floor.
Granger and George both are solid defenders, both can shoot the three ball, both play on the perimeter and together they make the Pacers than much better.
Like Indiana coach Frank Vogel told Fox 59’s Jeremiah Johnson on Thursday before the 3 p.m. the trade deadline, they did make one move.
“We acquired an all-star level player at the small forward spot… he should be joining us any day now,” Vogel said smiling. “No. 33 is what he’s going to wear for us, we’re looking forward to having him. We’re looking at Danny Granger as our trade deadline acquisition.”