76ers send Evan Turner to Pacers
The Indiana Pacers made the biggest move of NBA trade deadline day by shipping their longest-tenured player, forward Danny Granger, in a package to the Philadelphia 76ers that landed them forward Evan Turner.
As part of the deal, the Pacers sent a 2015 second-round pick to Philadelphia and also received center Lavoy Allen. It was part of a roster-gutting day for the 76ers, who traded starting center Spencer Hawes in a separate deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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Yahoo! Sports earlier reported the Granger-Turner deal.
The Pacers achieved several things with the move, but the biggest is adding the multidimensional Turner, who likely will be an offensive boost off the bench. The trade also lowers the Pacers' payroll by several million dollars.
Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the struggling 76ers. He has been a bit of a volume scorer, however, shooting just 43 percent overall and 29 percent on 3-pointers. He still should be an upgrade for the Pacers, who currently rank 19th in offensive efficiency.
"We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our bench,'' Pacers president of basketball eperations Larry Bird said in a statement. "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.''
Turner will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and the Sixers, who did not plan to re-sign him, were dangling him for weeks and hoping to land a first-round pick. By waiting until the very end of the trade window, the Pacers were able to swoop in and make the deal for Granger's expiring $13 million contract and the lesser draft pick.
Granger has played his entire nine-year career in Indiana and made the All-Star team in 2009. But he's been hampered by knee and leg injuries the past two seasons, causing him to miss more than 100 games. He has struggled after returning from injury this season, averaging just 8.3 points and shooting 36 percent from the field in 29 games.
Granger was a fixture in the locker room and mentored many of the team's young players, especially young star Paul George.
George expressed his appreciation for Granger via Twitter.
On a serious note upset day for me losing a big brother and mentor hate to see him leave us.. You... http://t.co/44QRLNlFqK- Paul George (@Paul_George24) February 21, 2014
The Pacers have lost three of their past five games and their offense has been inconsistent. Their lead over the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference is down to just one game entering Thursday night.
Allen was mostly a backup center for the 76ers, averaging 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 51 games, two of them starts.
The 76ers made three trades on Thursday, sending out starters Hawes and Turner along with Allen and getting back Earl Clark and Henry Sims from the Cavs, Byron Mullens from the Los Angeles Clippers and Granger, along with a total of five second-round draft picks.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.