Sixers buy out Danny Granger
The Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs are locked in a battle to secure the services of All-Star Danny Granger after the Philadelphia 76ers and Granger completed a contract buyout Wednesday, according to sources close to the process.
Granger is scheduled to clear waivers at 5 p.m. ET Friday. He and the Sixers parted ways less than a week after the 30-year-old swingman was acquired from the Indiana Pacers just before the trade deadline for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday night that the Spurs and Granger share a mutual interest, but sources said Wednesday that the Clippers -- having lost starting shooting guard J.J. Redick for long stretches this season because of a variety of injuries -- hold the advantage of having more playing time to offer. Granger also has an offseason home in Los Angeles.
Asked before Wednesday night's home game against Houston, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked if the team is interested in adding Granger.
"Of course!" Rivers said, but added, "that'll be up to Danny."
Granger, according to a source, plans to base his decision on the team that gives him the best opportunity to have "a major role and impact" on a title contending team.
Sources say teams interested in Granger have been consistently told in recent days that the free agent-to-be -- if he were to surrender his Larry Bird rights by securing his release from the Sixers -- would be looking for a new team that could offer not only a shot at a championship, but also guaranteed playing time.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Clippers and Spurs were widely regarded as the two strongest contenders to land Granger, with the Miami Heat expected to focus their efforts on clinching a deal with former Heat draft pick Caron Butler, whose buyout from the Milwaukee Bucks, sources said, was also progressing toward completion Wednesday.
According to league rules, any player who has appeared in a regular-season game this season must be waived by midnight Saturday to remain eligible to appear in this season's playoffs with another team.
Philadelphia's prime interest in dealing for Granger and his $14 million expiring contract was the second-round draft pick it also acquired from the Pacers. The Sixers acquired five second-rounders last week through various deals before the deadline.
Said Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie in a statement: "His accomplishments and accolades to this point of his NBA career more than speak for themselves, so I would like to express that I have a great deal of respect for Danny Granger as a person. ... Given Danny's future goals and his desire to pursue them, we worked to fulfill his requests and have come to a resolution we feel is mutually beneficial to Danny and our organization."
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