Indiana Pacers send – Danny Granger & a 2015 2nd round draft pick
Philadelphia 76ers send – Evan Turner & Lavoy Allen
Indiana Pacers: B
That may seem a tad high at first glance, but Evan Turner’s acquisition has implications beyond what he can contribute this year. From a purely talent driven standpoint, Turner offers just a small upgrade over Granger. Neither is an exceptionally efficient player, but Turner is younger, faster, and healthier. He does a little bit of everything well, if only on an individual level. That, in and of itself, makes him an interesting addition. However; even as the Pacers round out their roster for a run at the championship, there’s more to it than that.
Evan Turner’s $7 million expiring contract gives the Pacers beautiful Lance Stephenson insurance. Stephenson has played out of his mind this year; enough to justify a fat contract this summer. If Stephenson asks for more than the Pacers want to pay, it will be easier to cut their losses by extending a qualifying offer to Turner. Of course, they’d prefer to keep Stephenson, but as it stands, they cannot afford both players next season as a tax-conscious team. One of them will be gone by July.
What we’re looking at here is a temporary Granger upgrade that will morph into a marginal Stephenson downgrade if need be. Turner could help the Pacers’ title chances in the short term, and could provide a respectable tax evasion plan in the long term. For now, his role alongside Stephenson is more superfluous than anything else, though an improvement over Granger nonetheless. As for Lavoy Allen; he will be swallowed behind Indiana’s already capable frontcourt rotation and provide $3 million in cap space if the Pacers let him walk in free agency.
Philadelphia 76ers: B+
Danny Granger is by no means a B+ player at this stage of his career, but, again, you already know trades are about more than face value. The 76ers aren’t worried about his $14 million contract for two reasons: a) It’s expiring, and b) they’re still hovering around the salary floor. Anything below the $52.8 million team salary benchmark has to be made up anyway, so they’re paying nothing out of pocket on the rental since Granger does not push them past that line.
Sure, Turner is a far more valuable player than Granger is, but the Sixers had no intention of extending Turner a qualifying offer. Better to get something in return than let him walk for free in July. In the long term, that something is a 2015 2nd round pick. They’ll mess around with Granger until his contract is up (or simply buy him out), but his presence in Philadelphia is unlikely to span multiple seasons unless he likes it there and wants to take a massive pay cut.
So really, all they did was rake in another draft pick. It’s difficult to frown upon a deal that has upside only. Lavoy Allen was never a part of Philly’s blueprint, and his departure has as little impact on the organization as his presence before it. Coupled with another future non-essential in Evan Turner, the Sixers were able to haul in Danny “Cap Space” Granger and the white chip trade piece that is a 2nd rounder. Though their tanking effort would indicate the 2014 NBA Draft as their target for rebuilding, they will now have more money to play with in free agency as well.