The most significant trade in an otherwise bland NBA trade deadline was the deal between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. The Pacers sent Danny Granger and a future second round pick to Philly in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
On paper this is a bad deal for the Sixers, but they have no intention on trying to win games. The team is tanking like no other in hopes of winning the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery. The 15-40 76ers are the second worst team in the NBA, only being out-tanked by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Sixers also traded big man Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for two second round picks, and picked up Clippers center Byron Mullens for a second round pick.
Adding Danny Granger doesn’t help Philly on the court – he’s seen better days. In 29 games this season the former All-Star is averaging just 8.3 points per game. What is valuable to the Sixers is Granger’s expiring $14 million contract.
The Sixers will have plenty of money to attract free agents in July and a potentially high draft pick. With Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel in the fold, the 6ers are putting together something special.
In Indiana their goals are different. It’s championship or bust for the Pacers, which is why they traded a beloved player in Granger for Evan Turner.
Turner is a volatile player, but he has size and the ability to score the basketball. Turner is having the best season of his career averaging 17.4 points on 42% shooting.
Turner’s scoring is just a bonus for Indiana. He has without a doubt been brought in to guard LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the playoffs, should the two teams meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. Having enough bodies and fouls to throw at Wade and James could take some pressure off of Pacers wings Paul George and Lance Stephenson.
Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen could be short-term solutions for the Pacers. Both players will be free agents in the summer and could find employment elsewhere. It all hinges on what happens in the playoffs.
The Pacers are already the best team in the Eastern Conference, adding Turner could make them the best team in the league and the favorites to win the NBA championship.