Late Thursday evening, the Pacers finally released their official announcements on trading Danny Granger, releasing Orlando Johnson to acquire Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. The timing of the deadline worked out well for the Pacers with an extra day off to bring in the new faces and move on to Milwaukee for their game Saturday as a full squad.
That trip to Milwaukee will be different for the new and old faces on the roster, alike. The veteran voice of Danny Granger is no longer in the mix. But it is time to move on to the next phase of chasing a championship for this team. The goodbyes to Granger were heartfelt, including this public farewell from Paul George, but Larry Bird's evening salute to Granger signaled the emotional day was officially over.
"We thank Danny for his eight-and-a-half seasons with us and we appreciate everything he did for us in his time here," said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. "We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our bench. In Evan and Lavoy, we think we got two really good players that can help us and we look forward to what they can bring."
The sense of urgency and effort to push the Pacers toward a championship this year, is palpable from recent comments and moves made by Larry Bird. In fact, I just hope all of the players share that same urgent drive to get it done. They talk like they do, but recently there's been too many "meh" moments on the court. No doubt part of making these moves by Bird is to shake some of these young guys and clarify the mission -- championship or bust.
One thing is certain, the dynamic has changed for the Pacers and that could be a great thing, a good thing or a bad thing. But it sure is going to be fun to see how it all plays how.
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