NBA Trade Conjectures: Should the Celtics Deal Paul Pierce for Indiana Pacers Danny Granger?


May 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) attempts a three pointer against Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami defeated Indiana 101-93. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

A lot of people feel Paul Pierce should not be traded.  The fact remains, that after this year, there will likely be a shift towards the future, if the Celtics happen to fall short in their quest to yet another banner.

Using ESPN’s trade machine, one trade I feel could help that cause is the following:

Boston Trades:  Paul Pierce (and possibly a first rounder) + Sean Williams

Indiana Trades:  Danny Granger and Tyler “Psycho T” Hansbrough

The move would give the C’s a younger option, while the Pacers would gain the experience of Pierce, a proven closer and someone who could help put the Pacers over the hump.

The question, for the Pacers, is whether Pierce is an upgrade at this point or whether it is a lateral move for an older player, one that would shoot themselves in the foot as Pierce retires in a couple years.

The throw-ins in this trade aren’t really throw-ins at all.  Hansbrough would add some front court depth.

According to the Hollinger Analysis, the move increases the Pacers win total by two games, while hurting the Celtics:  They are projected to win four less games with Granger.

But is that accurate?  Would not the acquisition of Granger greatly aid the Celtics?  Wouldn’t adding a high volume three point shooter only make the C’s that much more dangerous?

The camp that says Pierce needs to and will retire a Celtic will object to dealing him away for a player like Granger, but Granger has already made the All-Star team once, and at age 29, he is in the heart of his prime.

The New Mexico product has averaged over 20 points per game the last four seasons, and in 2008-09, he put up 25.7 per game, while connecting on over 40 percent of his threes.  For his career, he is a 38.4 percent three point shooter, and that is better than Paul Pierce’s 36.9 percent, slightly anyway.  Pierce also doesn’t shoot the volume of threes Granger does.

Their stats are pretty similar, but Pierce is five years older and on the verge of retiring, while Granger should still have a few seasons of top-tier production left in the tank.

The first (or second) round pick thrown in would serve as good pot sweetener, so the Pacers didn’t feel as though they were completely sacrificing their future.  The pick would be in the mid to late first round, so it wouldn’t be sacrificing a high lottery pick.

Again, the main aspect to consider is whether the C’s want Pierce to retire in green & white, or whether they want to go a different direction and plan for the near-future.  Granger, Rajon Rondo, and Jeff Green could be the face of the franchise moving forward, if this move were consummated.  Granger and Green play the same position, but Green can play power forward, too, and Granger has the athleticism to fill in at power forward, too.

Granger has been the face of the Pacers, but with the emergence of Paul George, his presence on the roster is a redundancy.  Moreover, when Pierce retires, it would give the Pacers the cap flexibility to replace The Truth with a younger option, and all is well in Indy.  It’s a strange move, to be sure, but I feel it would benefit both teams, and isn’t that outlandish at all.