Los Angeles Clippers Sniffing Danny Granger
The Los Angeles Clippers met with representatives of swingman Danny Granger during Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets and have nudged ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the race to sign Granger on to a short-term contract in time for the playoffs. The Clippers have become widely regarded as the team that would offer Granger the most opportunity for playing time as well as the championship contention that Granger has been looking for since he entered the league.
The Clippers have considerably stepped up their pursuit of the former All-Star, partly due to growing concerns within the organization regarding shooting guard J.J. Redick’s status, who has missed the past nine games and is out indefinitely with a back injury. Further increasing LA’s concern over the swingman position and spot-up shooting duties, Jamal Crawford left last night’s win over the Rockets with a calf injury. Crawford has been starting in place of Redick and has been playing a huge part, along with star power forward Blake Griffin, in keeping the Clippers amongst the Western Conference’s top-four teams while starting point guard, Chris Paul, was out with a shoulder injury for roughly a month.
The Clippers organization, at the behest of coach Doc Rivers, have already made several in-season signings, amongst them Stephen Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Sasha Vujacic, to try and improve the perimeter rotation. Rivers has since confirmed the team’s interest in Granger, citing the need for spot-up-shooting on the perimeter, something the Clippers have done effectively all season, making them very dangerous. ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that there is mutual interest between Granger and San Antonio, which poses the greatest threat to the Clippers acquiring Granger. The Spurs are said to have commented that Granger is, culturally, the perfect fit with the team, however, they don’t have the space to offer as big of an on-the-court role as the Clippers can offer, now that swingman Kawhi Leonard is back from a 14-game absence due to a finger injury.
Granger, who keeps an offseason home in Los Angeles, has been known to train at the Clippers’s practice facility during the offseason, was officially waived on Wednesday after completing a contract buyout with the Philadelphia 76ers after having been traded to them by the Indiana Pacers before the trade deadline, for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
In addition to San Antonio and Los Angeles, it’s been reported that Dallas and Houston, the other two teams in Texas, are also sniffing Granger, and potentially in contention to wedge themselves between Granger and Los Angles/San Antonio. However, sources have reported that Granger is likely to verbally name a team that he plans to go to before he formally clears waivers at the end of the day on Friday.