Thursday, February 20, 2014

Does Evan Turner make the Pacers favorites in the Eastern Conference?

Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the 76ers. Now he'll provide a big punch off the bench for the Pacers, who may have the final player to get them over the Heat. I felt before the trade they had enough, but his gives the Pacers another look.

"We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our bench,'' Pacers president of basketball eperations Larry Bird said in a statement. "In Evan and Lavoy, we think we got two really good players that can help us and we look forward to what they can bring.''

Granger has played his entire nine-year career in Indiana and made the All-Star team in 2009. He's had a rough start after returning from injury this season, averaging just 8.3 points and shooting 36 percent from the field in 29 games.

Turner will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and the Sixers,didn't plan on bringing him back The Pacers were able to sneak in and make the deal for Granger's expiring $13 million contract and the lesser draft pick. Brilliant move by Larry Bird, and he may have given the Pacers their best chance for an NBA championship. The Pacers are deep, and it's hard not to like their chances.

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