Danny Granger

Pistons Waive Danny Granger

The Pistons have waived Danny Granger, the team announced. The move has been widely expected for weeks as Granger didn’t join the Pistons during the preseason, instead rehabbing on his own in Arizona. Granger has a fully guaranteed salary of $2,170,465 for this season that Detroit will be responsible for, barring a highly unlikely waiver claim from another team. The move takes the Pistons to 15 players, the regular season roster limit. Granger has experienced knee trouble in recent years, but it’s plantar fasciitis that has been the issue of late, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports details. He’ll need about a month more to return to health, Wojnarowski hears.

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy conceded over the past few days that the team was “probably sort of at the end of the road with” the 32-year-old Granger and that it’s all but inevitable the team would waive him. Detroit acquired the former high scorer via trade with Phoenix this summer in a move that also brought in Marcus Morris, who was the centerpiece of the deal for the Pistons, and Reggie Bullock. Indications surfaced even at the time of the trade that the Pistons would waive Granger, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press recently explained to Hoops Rumors. Granger signed a two-year deal with the Heat in 2014 that included a player option, but his health never allowed him to live up to the contract. He picked up his player option in June a few months after Miami traded him to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic deal.

The Pistons spent much of the offseason with 17 fully guaranteed contracts on their books, but they essentially removed any remaining question over who would go when they waived Cartier Martin’s fully guaranteed pact on Friday. That confirmed a regular season roster spot for Bullock, whose strong preseason prompted the team to pick up his option for 2016/17, too.

Do you think we’ll see Granger play in the NBA again? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Eastern Notes: Sixers, Knicks, Pistons

The Sixers‘ reputation among several agents around the league likely won’t do the franchise any favors when the team expects to be a player in free agency in the future, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes in an interesting story after speaking with several sources and agents. One agent told Pompey that he doesn’t want his max-level players in Philadelphia, but he is open to his midlevel players signing with the Sixers only if they overpay. Agents also told Pompey that Sixers GM Sam Hinkie is hard to deal with, saying he doesn’t make it a priority to return calls.

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

Central Notes: Granger, Noah, Thompson

It’s all but inevitable that the Pistons will waive Danny Granger, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy admits, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). They’re exploring trade options in the interim, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, who cautions that it doesn’t mean a deal will happen (Twitter links). Granger has a fully guaranteed salary of $2,170,465, one of 16 full guarantees on the Pistons.

Here’s the latest from the Central Division:

  • The Pacersnew D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, officially hired Harrison Greenberg as Director of Basketball Operations, the team announced.
  • LeBron James is pleased that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is willing to venture deep into luxury tax territory in an effort to put together a contending team, Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “It’s a sign that he’ll do anything to help us go out there and perform,” James said of Gilbert’s spending. “I’m not comparing us to the New York Yankees, because we’re not, we’re so nowhere near compared to the New York Yankees, but they have one of the highest payrolls every year,” James continued. “They don’t win it every year but that’s what they believe in. They believe in going out there and getting the best talent that can play.  When you have an ownership group or a collection round that believes what it’s going to take, then money is not an object.
  • While Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has yet to make it official, center Joakim Noah is likely to begin the season coming off the bench, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. “We’ll start the same way,” Hoiberg said. “If it looks good, [that’s] a pretty good chance that’s the way we’ll go on opening night.” When asked about Noah’s response to the potential move, Hoiberg said, “We’ve talked. We talk about everything that he’s done. He was great, he was excited about playing with Taj Gibson last game. I think those two have a very good chemistry out there together. And [Noah] was the one that talked to me about that, about how well he feels he and Taj play together out there on the floor.”
  • Tristan Thompson is glad to be back with the Cavaliers, but does maintain that he was prepared to miss regular season time if a contract agreement had not been reached, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “I love playing basketball,” Thompson said. “That’s my love, that’s my passion. But with this business it comes with a business side of it. For me, that’s how I approach it. Business is business and my approach is if a deal gets done before the season that’s great, but if not then so be it. I’m not a rookie no more. I’m a veteran. It’s not something to take lightly. It’s a serious matter.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Pistons Waive Martin, Thomas, Bachynski

9:49am: Bullock has indeed won a regular season roster spot, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

9:21am: The Pistons have waived Cartier Martin, Adonis Thomas and Jordan Bachynski, the team announced via press release. The moves leave Detroit with 16 players, all of whom are on fully guaranteed contracts, but they nonetheless provide a strong indication of what the opening night roster will look like. Danny Granger has been away from the team rehabilitating his knee trouble, and indications surfaced even when the Pistons traded for him this summer that they would waive him, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press recently explained to Hoops Rumors. That, plus the three players hitting waivers today, puts Reggie Bullock in a strong position to make the regular season roster. Martin also has a fully guaranteed salary, so the Pistons will swallow $1,270,964 assuming he clears waivers, and they’ll eat the $60K guarantee for Thomas if he passes through waivers, too. Bachynski’s deal is non-guaranteed.

Martin, 30, picked up a player option after teammates reportedly encouraged him to do so despite his apparent dissatisfaction with his playing time. He appeared in only 23 games last season, averaging 8.6 minutes per contest, even though Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy committed a two-year deal to him on the first day of free agency in 2014.

The 22-year-old Thomas said that Van Gundy assured him he had a shot to make the regular season roster when the Pistons signed him this summer, but Thomas has dealt with Achilles tendon issues that limited him to a single preseason appearance of about 10 minutes. He spent last season with Detroit’s D-League affiliate, making the All-D-League Third Team, and the Pistons still own his D-League rights.

Bachynski scored six points in about six minutes of action spread over two preseason games. The 26-year-old center who went undrafted out of Arizona State in 2014 joined the Pistons on his first NBA contract this summer after having split last season between the D-League affiliate of the Knicks and Turkey’s Ekishehir Basket.

Bullock already had a line on a regular season roster spot because of his strong preseason play, and the Pistons are thinking about picking up Bullock’s $2,255,644 team option for 2016/17, Ellis reported. A decision on the option, part of the rookie scale contract for the former 25th overall pick, is due November 2nd. The Pistons acquired him from the Suns in the same trade that brought in Granger and Marcus Morris.

Central Rumors: Granger, Rose, Bucks

Small forward Danny Granger will not join the Pistons for the start of training camp, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Granger, who was traded to Detroit from the Suns as part of the Marcus Morris deal, will remain in Arizona to continue knee rehab under a mutual agreement with Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy, Ellis continues. “I think it’s better for him and for us if he stays right there in Arizona and does his rehab and when he gets to a point that he’s ready to play and compete, then we will bring him in,” Van Gundy said during the team’s media day on Monday. Granger is one of 17 Detroit players with guaranteed contracts so he remains a waiver or trade candidate, Ellis adds.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings isn’t close to being game-ready, Ellis writes in the same notebook piece. Jennings, who tore his Achilles tendon in January, is limited to light shooting, jogging in the pool and weight-controlled treadmill work. “We’re hoping sometime in mid-October that he’s be able to start doing drill work out on the floor and then hopefully by mid-November he starts ramping up, actually getting in some five-on-five stuff,” Van Gundy said.
  • Derrick Rose made a splash during the Bulls’ media day, saying that he’s already looking toward his next foray into free agency, according to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago (Twitter links). Rose, who is signed through the 2016/17 season, expects to remain in Chicago for the long term, Goodwill adds. “€œYou see the way all this money will be passed around in this league. My day [free agency] is coming,” Rose said. But while Rose prefers to stay with the Bulls, the notion of leaguewide increased salaries “makes one pause,” Sam Smith of Bulls.com tweets.
  • The Bucks hired longtime NBA executive Rod Thorn as a special consultant, the team announced Monday morning via press release. He will work closely with GM John Hammond, the release adds. Thorn most recently served as the NBA’€™s president of basketball operations, where he oversaw the league’s day-to-day business under commissioner Adam Silver.
  • The Cavaliers allowed the remaining $635,816 portion of their trade exception for Keith Bogans to expire on Sunday, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Cleveland dealt Bogans to the Sixers last September and used part of the exception to acquire Timofey Mozgov in January.

Pacific Notes: Chandler, Young, Barnes

Most teams chasing top-tier centers thought it better to go after the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe before circling back to Tyson Chandler as something of a fallback option, but the Suns found it wise to chase Chandler before pursuing Aldridge, as Rob Mahoney of SI.com examines. Chandler quickly committed to Phoenix, and he helped them become a finalist in the Aldridge sweepstakes.

“I think when you have a guy like that that you target, you go aggressively after him. And that’s what we decided to do with Tyson,” GM Ryan McDonough said to Mahoney. “It did help us that there were so many free agent big men on the market, especially high-level players — guys who have been All-Stars, All-NBA, and all that stuff. I think a few teams wanted to kind of talk to each of the guys and get a feel for them. Some of the players wanted to do visits with multiple teams, and be wined and dined a bit. Tyson really didn’t want any of that.”

There’s more from Phoenix amid our latest look around the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns seemingly made their three-player trade with the Pistons in an effort to clear cap room for Aldridge, but McDonough told Mahoney that the deal that sent out Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger is one the team would have done regardless, citing a desire for more roster balance and future flexibility.
  • Nick Young feels more confident that he’ll begin the coming season with the Lakers after a recent meeting with GM Mitch Kupchak, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. That jibes with a dispatch last week from Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, who heard that the Lakers had stopped looking for trade partners who’d take Young.
  • Harrison Barnes confirmed Thursday that he wants a long-term future with the Warriors, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group details. He and the team reportedly share a mutual interest in a rookie scale extension. “I mean, we just won a championship,” Barnes said. “Of course I’d love to keep this group together for many years to come, you know what I’m saying? So that’s obvious.”

Pistons Acquire Marcus Morris, Bullock, Granger

JULY 9TH, 11:35am: The deal is official, both teams announced. It’s Morris, Bullock and Granger to Detroit for a 2020 second-rounder.

3:31pm: Detroit hasn’t made a final decision on Granger yet, but he’ll most likely be waived, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets.

JULY 2ND: 2:34 pm: The Suns and Pistons have agreed to a trade that sends Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Detroit in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). The deal would clear nearly $8.423MM in additional cap flexibility for Phoenix as it chases LaMarcus Aldridge.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

However, the Suns still have about $57MM in commitments against a cap projected between $67.1MM and $69.1MM, and with Aldridge, for whom Phoenix reportedly emerged as a strong contender, in line to make some $19MM on a max deal next season, it appears as though Phoenix still has more cap clearing to do, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Wojnarowski point out (Twitter link). Wojnarowski mentions Markieff Morris, who’ll make $8MM next season, and P.J. Tucker, who’s set for $5.5MM, as possible targets for other cap-clearing moves.

The trade with the Pistons by itself breaks up the Morris twins just months after they signed rookie scale extensions with designs on staying together. Marcus Morris instead ends up in Detroit’s frontcourt, as the Pistons use more of their cap space on complementary players after reaching agreement with Aron Baynes earlier today. The deal was made by Detroit to land Morris, who is expected to be the starting small forward next season, Ellis tweets. Morris appeared in 81 games last season for the Suns, including 35 as a starter, averaging 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. His slash line was .434/.358/.628.

Bullock will compete for a roster spot with Cartier Martin, Quincy Miller, and Adonis Thomas, relays Ellis (Twitter link). He has never made more than 43 appearances in a season since entering the league with the Clippers, who selected him with the No. 25 overall pick back in 2013. Bullock appeared in 11 games for Phoenix after arriving via trade from Los Angeles, averaging 0.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per contest.

Granger may not be thrilled with the trade, especially since it takes him away from the Suns’ vaunted training staff, who have been working 16.8 to get the veteran healthy and back on the court. The 32-year-old managed 30 appearances for the Heat last season, and zero with Phoenix after it had acquired him via trade. Granger’s career numbers are 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, with a shooting line of .434/.380/.848.

Danny Granger Opts In With Suns

7:09pm: The Suns have officially announced that Granger has indeed opted in for next season.

3:21pm: Suns forward Danny Granger has picked up his player option worth $2,170,465 for the 2015/16 season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). This means that the Creative Artists Agency client, represented by Aaron Mintz, will be eligible to hit unrestricted free agency during the summer of 2016. Granger, who was acquired by Phoenix from the Heat at this season’s trade deadline, has been working with the team’s athletic training staff to overcome health issues associated with his twice-surgically repaired left knee.

The return of Granger now gives the Suns a total of nine players with fully guaranteed deals for next season, and ten players under contract overall including Jerel McNeal‘s non-guaranteed pact. Phoenix now has $42,209,043 in guaranteed money on the books for 2014/15. The franchise also has to make a decision on Brandon Knight, who is eligible to become a restricted free agent, provided that the Suns tender him a qualifying offer worth $4,790,680.

Granger reportedly contemplated retirement after undergoing knee surgery when he was with the Pacers in 2013. But Phoenix’s stellar medical team has him convinced that he can be “fixed,” and return to being a productive player. The 32-year-old did not log a single minute of action for the Suns this season after arriving in Phoenix. He had previously appeared in 30 contests for Miami, averaging 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. His career stats are 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. His career slash line is .434/.380/.848.

Pacific Rumors: Kings, Granger, Thomas

The Kings have several decisions to make regarding their backcourt, Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press reports. Starting shooting guard Ben McLemore only showed slight improvement in his second season while backup Nik Stauskas struggled during his rookie campaign, in part because the team had two coaching changes during the season, Gonzalez continues. The club also has to decide whether to retain backup point guards Ray McCallum and David Stockton. McCallum’s approximate $947,000 contract for next season is not guaranteed, while Stockton has a non-guaranteed salary of $845,059 for next season.

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Danny Granger has not decided whether to exercise the approximate $2.17MM player option on his contract for next season, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Granger, who was acquired by the Suns from the Heat during the trade deadline, has been working with the team’s athletic training staff to overcome health issues associated with his twice-surgically repaired left knee, Coro continues. Granger is building a house in the area, Coro adds, a potential sign that he’s planning to return to the team next season.
  • Isaiah Thomas learned quickly that he made a mistake when he signed with the Suns as a free agent last summer, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Thomas, who was dealt to the Celtics at the trade deadline, was sold on the idea of joining Phoenix after getting advice from Jason Terry, Himmelsbach reports. Thomas realized once the season started that sharing playing time and the ball with fellow point guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe was not going to work out, Himmelsbach continues. “I was taking a step back,” Thomas said to Himmelsbach. “We all wanted the ball and are all talented, but somebody ended up upset every night. It’s something that everyone thought would work, but it just didn’t.”
  • Jeremy Lin views a return to the Lakers as a possibility despite a tumultuous season, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports. Lin, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, believes the prospects of remaining with the club improved after a productive exit meeting with coach Byron Scott and GM Mitch Kupchak, Pincus adds. “That would be great,” Lin said to Pincus about re-signing with the Lakers. “There’s so much that needs to happen, but that’s definitely an option for me.” Lin averaged 11.2 points on 42.4% shooting this season, his lowest output in both categories since his rookie season in 2010/11.

Pacific Notes: Rivers, Granger, Divac

Doc Rivers and Flip Saunders hold the dual titles of coach and president of basketball operations for the Clippers and Timberwolves, respectively, but they’ve encountered vastly different jobs, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune explores.

“It’s not been hard, Flip’s had to do a lot more,” Rivers said. “They have a lot more work, far more assets than they have to try to get in and out. He has a ton of [financial] flexibility. When I came here, I looked at our roster and flexibility and there was not a lot we could do. We were more in the minimum contract and mid-level [exception] stuff. You’ve got to have assets and we do, but none that we want to trade. He has had a lot more work to do than I have. He’s trying to rebuild an entire team.”

Rivers signed a new deal worth more than $50MM over five years with the Clippers this past summer. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Danny Granger says he considered retirement after undergoing knee surgery when he was with the Pacers in 2013, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. He’s never been the same since missing all but five games of the 2012/13 season, but the Suns trainers have told him “it can be fixed,” as Coro details. The 31-year-old with a player option of more than $2.17MM for next season explored options to buy his way off the Suns and join a contender shortly after the deadline-day trade that sent him from Miami to Phoenix, but he decided against it, Coro writes.
  • Granger added that he wants to get “extremely healthy” before playing again, and while Suns coach Jeff Hornacek wouldn’t rule out his return before season’s end, as Coro relays in the same piece, the chances don’t appear overwhelmingly strong. “As we go on, if we’re still in the race, yeah, why not get a veteran guy like that in there?” Hornacek said. “If somehow we’re out of it, then maybe it makes more sense to play the young guys. Our thoughts right now are we’re still in the playoff hunt and we’re still going to go after it. If he can give us something toward the end there, maybe that happens.”
  • Vlade Divac turned down other opportunities to work in NBA front offices before he joined the Kings as vice president of basketball and franchise operations last week, as he tells USA Today’s Sam Amick.