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There are already reports that Danny Granger is hoping for a buyout with the intent to catch on with a contending team for the final stretch of the regular season and the playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs, Miami HEAT and Oklahoma City Thunder have already been linked to Granger, but there is a wrinkle that complicates matters a bit.
While the 76ers may be far from competitive, they actually present the best opportunity for Granger to earn a sizable contract this offseason. Granger is set to take a major pay cut after earning $14 million this season. He’s finally healthy, but on the Pacers he was only getting limited minutes as his role in the rotation regressed from being featured to expendable. There’s room for him to do far more with the 76ers, but they clearly aren’t playing for anything than a top lottery pick right now.
If Granger can swallow playing for a lottery team the rest of the season, not only will he be able to prove he’s capable of being a primary option, he’ll also preserve his Bird rights and potentially work out a sign-and-trade.
If Granger is angry and set on getting revenge against the Pacers after they shipped him away in the final moments of the trade deadline, it’s quite understandable. He has a lot of history with the franchise and it probably hurts to know now that they’ve officially moved on. However, his quest for vengeance will be quite costly as he’ll basically cap out his salary next season to whatever the mid-level exception comes out to. Teams under the cap aren’t going to use their space on him, especially if they only get to see him in a minor role for a contender he joined late in the season.
The right financial choice for Granger is to play out the rest of the regular season with the 76ers. We’ll see if the economical side cancels out the competitive side for Granger in the coming days.
Throughout his career Bryant has proven to have a high threshold for pain and the ability to heal quicker far more than most. This left knee has been quite problematic, though, and you could tell by his most recent comments about it that he wouldn’t be back anytime soon.
If Bryant is cleared in three weeks, though, that would leave him about a month to shake off the rust that he was just in the process of ridding after missing all of the offseason due to a torn Achilles tendon. It may not be enough, but it is something. Just being back on the floor should be a confidence builder in itself.
In Bryant’s absence the young players in the backcourt will continue to see the bulk of the minutes. Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks saw extended minutes in their Laker debut and helped spark a fourth quarter comeback in a win against the Boston Celtics Celtics.
Davis was bought out by the Magic shortly after they were unable to find a trade for him at the deadline. He’s currently going through the waiver wire process, though, and will not be an unrestricted free agent until Monday.
The Clippers will pitch Davis on playing for Rivers again and competing for a championship, while the Nets have a disabled players exception they can use on Davis, while also offering the appeal of playing with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce again. The Bulls are in the mix because Davis had a good relationship with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Boston. The Warriors, however, may have the most minutes available for Davis as their second unit is a major area of weakness right now. Davis would bring a lot of the same qualities that Carl Landry, one of the leaders of the Warriors’ second unit last year who signed with the Sacramento Kings in the offseason, did. Expect his decision to come quickly on Monday, if not sooner.
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