According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Indiana Pacers are interested in moving the veteran small forward and the Cavs are believed to be among the interested teams:
Nonetheless, sources have said the Cavs are more-than-willing trade partners, and outside of star point guard Kyrie Irving, consider no one on the roster untouchable.
Multiple sources believe the Pacers are looking for a taker for veteran small forward Danny Granger. The Cavs are interested, sources said, but have reservations about the knee injury that forced him to miss much of the season. If the injury robbed Granger of his explosiveness, such a move would hardly be worth the gamble.
Cleveland is in need of a small forward, preferably one who can score and run the break with Kyrie Irving. Prior to being sidelined for almost all of 2012-13 with a knee injury, Granger fit that bill.
Granger led the Pacers in scoring for the 2011-12 campaign with 18.7 points a night before appearing in just five contests this year. He’s averaged at least 18 points per game in five of his eight years in the league and was selected to the 2009 NBA All-Star game.
Coming off an injury-riddled crusade and earning a cool $14 million next season, Granger is considered a risk. For the Cavs, he would be one worth taking.
Cleveland isn’t likely to make a big splash in free agency this summer. A big man like Dwight Howard would undoubtedly peak the Cavs’ interest, and they can afford him, but he’s shown no inclination that Cleveland is one of his preferred destinations. Ergo, landing another star player is (likely) to happen leading into the 2013-14 season. If the Cavs can strike a deal for a star using that No. 1 overall pick of theirs, then quite possibly yes, they’ll get Irving the All-Star-caliber sidekick he deserves now. Otherwise, they’re going to bide their time for the summer of 2014 and all the LeBron James-infused glory it has to offer.
Should gearing up for 2014 still be the plan, then acquiring Granger makes sense. If Indiana is truly interested in dealing him, then he could be had for very little. The Pacers will likely want to open up cap space to re-sign David West (or maybe become a player for Chris Paul?!?!?) and won’t insist on prying one of Cleveland’s talented youngsters away.
More importantly, Granger doesn’t screw up the Cavs’ 2014 ambitions. His $14 million comes off the books next season, keeping in theme with Cleveland’s current cap situation. Best-case scenario, he returns to form and the Cavaliers have an outside shot at making the playoffs behind an improving Irving (and Dion Waiters) and a healthy Granger.
Any risks involved only outweigh the potential benefits if 1) the Pacers are asking too much or 2) the Cavaliers believe they’ll sign one of the (few) big-name free agents this summer. Those are reasons for Cleveland to head for the hills.
Other than that, I can’t think of a reason for them not to, at the very least, explore the possibility of acquiring Granger. He gives them the potential to continue rebuilding while also contending for a playoff spot. Provided the price is right, the fit is then right too.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.