If the Western Conference in the NBA didn’t already have a stacked line of teams, it seems yet another team is getting a face-lift to make it a contender. The Los Angeles Clippers appear to have signed a new piece of their hopeful championship puzzle known as Danny Granger.
Granger played for the Indiana Pacers since he was drafted in 2005. He was seen as the star of the team for years, and up until about 2 years ago, he could be billed as the Pacers franchise player. Then, he got hurt. From there, new stars seemed to arrive for the Pacers such as Paul George among others. It was felt that when Granger got back, the team would be a huge favorite in the Eastern Conference to take out the Miami Heat and get to the NBA Finals.
Granger had nagging knee and calf injuries and had not really helped the Pacers all season. The hope was that he would be able to be back by the postseason to help the Pacers take on the only real Eastern competition in the Heat, but he was traded before the trade deadline hit to the Philadelphia 76ers for Evan Turner.
Turner is a very valuable young player that could be set to leave to hit free agency soon, so the Sixers wanted to trade him to avoid high cost at free agency time. The hilarious part is that it seemed to only get them cap space as they then bought Granger out of his contract allowing him to sign with any team he chooses.
Los Angeles then showed some interest and signed Granger on Friday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed as it is team policy to not do so. Some feel this will get Danny’s career back on track while others are not yet sold on the idea.
Many wondered why the Clippers spent the cash to bring in an injury stricken Granger.
One potential reason is the need at Small Forward, a specialty position for Granger. Danny is a great defender and can actually work both forward positions and can guard against shootings guards and some point guards. He is another key scorer to the team, which is also a helpful aide. So Los Angeles has managed to pick up a useful tool.
The issue is that while he can do so much for a team, he has to stay healthy to do so. With so many nagging injuries that seem to continue occurring, it’s impossible to know when he will get hurt again. You cannot rely on a guy who cannot stay healthy, no matter how good he is when he actually does stay healthy. You’re betting on a chance, not so much a guarantee. In this world of the NBA, you must have a guarantee, a chance is not worthy the investment.
This theory is especially true in the West, where it is highly competitive with teams that are loaded and hard to beat. Los Angeles has started to compete despite youth on the team.
L.A. seems to have a good team to help itself. Not only is Chis Paul still there, killing it as an assist machine and scoring threat, but Blake Griffin is by no means phoning it in. The rest of the team is full of terrific young talent that is somewhat in need of development, while others are standing out clearly above the rest.
Adding Granger to this Los Angeles Clipper squad is not a bad move. The biggest problem the team is facing is when Danny will be able to fully help the team. Also they have to ask themselves, will it be a good idea to bring him on to the court before the postseason or will it be good to wait until then?
Will Danny be someone who will hurt the team because of his lack of play then? There is a lot to think about when it comes to Granger’s play. Los Angeles just has to realize what they want out of this. Then they must ask, will Granger be enough to win the West? if the cannot say yes, then obviously Granger is not the last key addition.
Los Angeles has a lot of work to do before they can call themselves contenders. So keep in mind, the Clipper addition of Granger is by no means the last they should make. For now however, he is the last Clipper addition. How far this will take them in the West is yet to be determined.