Pacers small forward Danny Granger will undergo surgery on his troublesome left knee and will be out for the rest of the season, the Pacers announced via press release. Granger has played only five games this year following a procedure for patellar tendinosis in October.
Granger's inability to return to the court for the team's playoff run this season represents a significant hit to his trade value, observes Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). He'll make $14.022MM in the final season of his contract next season, but even teams that might want to trade for him simply because of his expiring deal could be less inclined to do so after today's announcement, according to Mannix. Granger reportedly drew interest from the Jazz as part of a package deal before the deadline this year, but it seemed then that the Pacers would wait until the summer to entertain offers for Granger. Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard insisted in February that he wouldn't trade the player who entered this season having led the club in scoring each of the past five years.
Granger made his season debut on February 25th, but he hasn't played since March 3rd because of continued soreness in the knee. The injury didn't respond to what the team calls "conservative" treatments, and surgery was decided upon after consultation between Granger, Pacers doctors and renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. The surgery doesn't have a "slam dunk-high success rate," another orthopedic surgeon told the Indianapolis Star.
Largely without Granger's help, the Pacers have maintained their strong play from last season, when they secured the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and gave the eventual champion Heat a stiff challenge in the playoffs. This year Indiana sits at 45-27, again in third place in the East. First-time All-Star Paul George and surprising starter Lance Stephenson have stepped up in Granger's absence, so today's news isn't the devastating blow it could have been. Still, Granger's sizable cap hit for next season could limit the club's flexibility if a trade can't be worked out. The Pacers say in their press release that Granger will be ready for training camp.