I came up with another potential granger trade, it's an elaborate plan of attack for the offseason, but it for sure accomplishes a few goals. The main goals I see the Pacers trying to achieve this offseason are:
1) Re-Sign David West (Not involved with trade) 2) Add fire power to the bench 3) Get decent value for Granger while also not taking on too much salary to re-sign stephenson and george in the future.
There are three teams involved in this situation, they are the LA Clippers, Pacers, and the Jazz.
Pacers give up granger and the 23rd pick
Utah gives up Alec Burks and the 14th pick.
LA Clippers give up Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler
Pacers receives Alec Burks, Caron Butler, and the 14th pick
Utah receives Eric Bledsoe
LA Clippers receive Granger and the 23rd pick
This makes sense for a few reasons, for all teams involved
Why it makes sense for the or the Pacers: They would be able to unload grangers contract while only adding a rookie contract onto the books. Burks was also noted coming out of college for his quick release and shooting touch, while that hasn't directly translated into the NBA yet (he just finished his second season) he is a cheap shooting option with two more years on his contract and plenty of room to develop. He is also 6'6" with a long wingspan which is important for the Pacers defensive oriented system. The most important part of the trade is the pick though, most mock drafts have the Jazz taking either Schoeder or Michael Carter-Williams at #14 (both are PGs) I'm not going to speculate who would be a better fit for the Pacer, but either would be a huge improvement over D.J. Augustine. Caron Butler has the contract that offsets the huge salary the Clippers would be adding with Granger, but it is also an expiring contract so it won't get in the way of the Pacers resigning Stephenson or Paul George.
Why it makes sense for Utah: Utah only has like 1.75 mill on the books for next year (that is before they pick up the team options for Hayward and Favors and the Marvin Williams $8.5 million player option [his agent should be given an award for professional excellence for finding a way to include something like that into Marvin ''Remember me I was the 6th man for the UNC title team in 2006, then was drafted ahead of CP3 and Deron Williams because the Hawks are idiots'' William]) Even when you add those contracts to the Jazz's books, they still have one of if not the friendliest cap disposition in the NBA. The main reason it makes sense is that the Jazz finally fill the void left by the departure of the aforementioned Williams with a proven NBA PG who seems ready to turn the corner and become one of the better PGs in the NBA. Like I said earlier, speculation continually points to the Jazz taking a PG with the 14th pick, and considering how weak this draft is, it makes sense to give up a little more in order to have a 'safer' point guard of the future. Right now is also a good time to acquire Bledsoe because the Clippers realize they won't be able to re-sign him because he wants bigger money than they can give him. Insert the salary cap rich Jazz, desperately in need of a PG going forward and you have a happy Bledsoe (Counting his 8 figure per year contract) and a happy Utah organization because they were able to get Greta value at PG for the money they spent and the assets they gave up. A critic of the deal might say, 'Well they gave up a potenitial SG of the future for a PG of the future'. You better believe they would, PG is the most important position in the NBA today because a point guard can totally dictate the pace of the game. On top of that, the Jazz still have the 21st pick in the draft, allowing them to fill the void left by Burks. If they're luck, Jamaal Franklin (a do-it-all SG out of SDSU) will be available. He doesn't have tremendous upside but he strikes me as a very NBA ready guard. Just image the future lineup in Utah: Bledsoe, Franklin, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. That's is a hell of a lot of potential.
Why it makes sense for the LA Clippers: They can't re-sign Bledsoe, it is as simple as that, they don't have the money, and because they are desperately trying to convince CP3 that the Clippers are committed to winning, swapping a player with no future with the organization for a veteran, former all-star, returning with a chip on his shoulder is a pretty good swap. Plus if the granger experiment doesn't work out, his salary is off your books at the end of 2013-2014 anyways. WIn-Win. As an added bonus they would then have the Pacer's 23rd pick and their own 25th pick. This gives them two options; one they could stay where they are in the draft and use the pick on the best available/best available wing (order depends on the perceived value at the position) players like Tony Snell, Allan Crabbe, Tony Mitchell, and Jeff Whithey. All could play valuable bench roles for the Clippers.
Finally since I am a Pacers fan by heart I have to finish with what they would do with the convenient MLE at their disposal. They should split it between two players who could come off the bench and produce at just as high of a level as there starters do...on defense. Tony Allen and DeJuan Blair could both come off the bench and give west and paul george a break without losing much on the defensive end, and because the Pacers are such a defensive oriented team, not all of their offseason moves can be offensive.