Pacers president Larry Bird had a lot of nice things to say about Danny Granger in this Indy Star piece, but he also had some criticism for the small forward, saying he “doesn’t work hard enough” during the offseason and doesn’t push himself the way other guys on the team do. Via the Indy Star:
“I’ve talked to Danny, talked to his agent; I’m not looking to trade him,” team President Larry Bird said Saturday. “But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it, but I’m not out there looking at deals.”
If the Pacers did deal Granger —and he’d have to be healthy for anybody to want him — they’d have to take back $14 million in salary commitments. That means bringing back guys who are in the final year of their contract, along with trade exceptions.
“We couldn’t take back guys who are going to be $14 million next year,” Bird said.
Will Granger struggle in his comeback? Absolutely, he’ll struggle. He’s missed nine months. Even when he’s been healthy, he’s always been a slow starter throughout his career.
There’s a reason for that, according to the eternally honest Bird.
“He doesn’t work hard enough (in the offseason),” Bird said. “He’s not a guy who’ll push himself to the brink like a lot of our guys do. He works hard but he doesn’t push himself. That’s why he starts slow every year and he just works his way back. Now this year, he’s been hurt, so it’s a different deal.”