Danny Granger, The Biggest Free Agent That No One's Really Heard Of

No sooner do I start carping about the current NBA "dead zone" than the dark horse of off-season action, the intrigue I've been tittering about behind-the-scenes for months, stirs a little. I'm talking, of course, about the Pacers' negotiations with forward Danny Granger, which according to The Indianapolis Star, aren't going anywhere anytime soon. ↵
↵
↵Drafted in 2005, the New Mexico product is a restricted free agent next summer; the team now has a few months to lock him up long-term, without getting into the free agent drama that's defined this summer. With Jermaine O'Neal gone, Granger is hands-down Indiana's best player. He's got some Shawn Marion-like versatility going, but with a more fluid game, more natural scoring ability, and the kind of quiet confidence that you just could build a team around. Some will stand behind the resurrected Mike Dunleavy as the team's future—of course they would—but Dunleavy's a thrice warmed-over bust-done-good, while Granger can flat-out play. ↵
↵
↵The question is, though, what kind of money does Granger deserve? It would seem that Indiana can't afford to lose him. And while restricted free agency can inflate offers, cause overbidding, and make teams panic, it does do something to set the market. In this oh-so dramatic summer alone, we've see Andre Iguodala, hardly as stable as Granger nor with as much room to grow, fetch almost $13 million a year with his new deal. Monta Ellis, provided this injury business gets resolved, is in line for $11 million per. From Granger's draft class, we've already had Andrew Bogut get Iguodala money, and both Chris Paul and Deron Williams sign mini-maxes. ↵
↵
↵Granger—unheralded, a quiet monster, and ready to take over this team—is, short of fellow 2004 alums Paul and Williams, or Bynum, who will be going for a max deal in a year. But he's good a cornerstone as you could hope for. You can make a case for Granger getting more than Iguodala. On the other hand, he could find himself a Josh Smith-like victim of circumstance, stuck between the race for Bynum, the 2010 horizon and yeah, his own lack of exposure. Of course GM's know he can play, but the bigger the name, the easer it is to get everyone involved to throw all their weight behind a contract push. And unless 2008-09 sees Granger really break out, next summer he'll be back in the boat of shadows.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.