With only a handful of teams remaining in his offseason look at trade situations to watch, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld focuses today on the Pacers, Clippers, and Thunder. Let's dive in and check out the highlights from Kyler's NBA AM piece…
- While there's still a belief in some circles that the Pacers will try to trade Danny Granger this season, Kyler says that's not necessarily the case. There's almost no scenario in which Indiana could trade Granger's $14MM+ expiring contract and avoid taking back long-term salary, so the Pacers likely prefer to keep the veteran forward and let him help the club contend in 2013/14. Clearing his contract from the books next summer will free up money for players like Paul George and Lance Stephenson.
- If the Pacers have injury problems during the season, their stance on Granger and other players could change, but for now it appears that the team will stand relatively pat, believing the roster is strong enough to contend for the title.
- The Clippers are currently in luxury-tax territory, but only by about $1.5MM. If the team were to cut Maalik Wayns' non-guaranteed contract and move a player like Willie Green, it could slip below the tax. The Clips may have to give up an asset or two (such as cash or draft picks) to facilitate a deal. But L.A. has enough depth, particularly on the perimeter, that giving up a player to get below the tax line shoudn't hurt the club's on-court production.
- With Kevin Martin no longer in OKC, the Thunder will be searching for a reliable third scorer behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The team would probably prefer to see a player from within, such as Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson or Jeremy Lamb, emerge as that third scorer. However, OKC also has several young inexpensive players that could be used as trade chips if necessary, including Perry Jones III, Andre Roberson, and Steven Adams.