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Friday, February 21, 2014
Will Sixers let Danny Granger go?

By Marc Stein

Danny Granger
Will Danny Granger, who was traded from Indiana to Philadelphia, get to choose his next destination?
Trade season actually lasts one week longer in the NBA than advertised ... if you count Buyout Week.

And we do.

Players released by March 1, remember, are eligible to play in the playoffs with another team. The immediate future of the newest Philadelphia 76er has thus become the most interesting short-term question in the league: Will Philly grant Danny Granger a buyout that puts the former All-Star on the open market?

Related question: How hard should he pursue one?

Securing his release from the Sixers by next Saturday undoubtedly appeals to Granger, who is said to be miffed about the manner in which he was exiled from Indiana and is understandably intrigued by the possibility of signing with an Oklahoma City or a San Antonio or a Memphis -- or maybe even a Miami -- if he becomes a free agent.

But ...

Severing ties with the Sixers immediately, as much as Granger clearly doesn't want to be there, would cost him his Larry Bird rights this summer and, of greater consequence to his new team, scuttle any sign-and-trade options Philly might have with him this summer. You suspect that the Sixers might want to keep all of those options open after surrendering a former No. 2 overall pick in Evan Turner to get Granger.

So ...

Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie wasn't kidding Friday at a lunchtime news conference when he said it's "going to be interesting" when he gets together with Granger "to sit and talk."

All Hinkie will commit to, for now, is that there will be "a chance for us to have a discussion."

The outcome of which is sure to be followed closely by front offices throughout the NBA's upper crust.

P.S. -- Phoenix is an interesting option for a Granger buyout if you believe in the mystical powers of the Suns' athletic training stuff and what they might be able to do to get Granger's body right. Ditto for the Dallas Mavericks, who possess an equally adept training team, only without getting any semblance of the Phoenix fanfare. The Clippers, meanwhile, would naturally be at the top of Granger's own list, since he's an L.A. resident, but there's a sense out there that Doc Rivers and Big Baby Davis essentially already have an understanding that will bring Davis to Clipperland as soon as he clears waivers next week.