The closest Pacer to making the cut for Bill Simmons‘ annual NBA Trade Value Top 50 column was Danny Granger. Here’s what Simmons said about Granger and a few of his peers:
"Ray Felton, Danny Granger, Marvin Williams, LaMarcus Aldridge: All quality bargains because they’re still on the rookie scale. Do you see any of them ever making an All-Star team? Me neither. Out of everyone on this list, I like Granger the most … and I definitely like him more than Channing Frye, Ike Diogu, Fran Vasquez, Yaroslav Korolev, Rashad McCants, Antoine Wright and Joey Graham."
Personally, I think Granger should have made the top 50, especially considering his extremely affordable contract and the Pacers record despite no top 50 talent. I also think he underestimates how much the front office values Granger. And I actually do think he’ll be an All-Star. I really do. Ike Diogu gets a mention, but basically a dubious one. If only he could stay healthy.
Here’s what he wrote about Jermaine O’Neal, who was 23rd a year ago:
"Jermaine O’Neal (23) is our 2007-08 captain of the “Guys getting paid franchise money who don’t feel obligated to carry their franchise” team."
Ouch. Franchise money and he didn’t even crack the top 50. Wasn’t this guy top three in MVP voting back in 2003-04. Man, how they mighty have fallen. I hope GMs don’t read this column.
The only other Pacers-related note was that Jeff Foster was 15th on his list of the 15 best non-rookie scale contracts. Foster is a pretty damn good bargain. I remember when the talking heads over at the WWL ripped the Pacers for signing Foster to that deal. Well, hate to tell you, but the guy is one of the best rebounders and low-post defenders in basketball, and he has impeccable character. Guys like he, David Lee, David West, etc… don’t exactly grow on trees.
Anyway, I’m not as big of a fan of Simmons as I used to be, but this is still one of my absolute favorite running sports columns anywhere. Period. It is an absolute must read for all NBA fans. Hopefully, Granger and Shawne Williams will make the list next year.
- NBA value has never been higher – ESPN Page 2