Culture of Hoops

Bigger Impact: Danny Granger with Clippers or Caron Butler with Thunder?

It has been a crazy year in the NBA, one of tanking and, partially as a result, buyouts. Two of the major buyouts and pickups that happened recently involved Danny Granger and Caron Butler. It’s tough to tell who will have the bigger impact on the teams that picked them up. Without a doubt, though, both players look to play a role in their new teams’ ability to win.

Danny Granger

Image courtesy of Danny Granger/Twitter.

Image courtesy of Danny Granger/Twitter.

It has been a rough few years for the former All-Star forward. Surrounded with injuries, the once dominant Granger was set to make a much anticipated return earlier in the season. At that point, he was still on the Indiana Pacers. In the 29 games that he played with the Pacers this season, he averaged a total of 8.3 points per game in 22 minutes. His career average is more than double that, at 17.6 points per game.

Just before the trade deadline ended, he was involved in a trade between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. The Pacers received Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Philly waived him soon after completing a contract buyout. Where would he land next?

A number of teams pursued Granger, including the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks. Granger signed with the Clippers, citing that head coach Doc Rivers offered him the best opportunity to play meaningful minutes for a contender in the West.

After half a season of moving, Granger was happy to finally call a place home. Weighing in on the signing, Granger said, “I’m very familiar with the way Doc (Rivers) coaches. I’ve always had the desire to play with a point guard the caliber of Chris Paul. In the West, it’s a really tight race out here. I just thought I would be able to help this team the most.”

It’s safe to say that with an already explosive roster, Granger will only add more depth. Although he has been faced with injuries in the past, he still holds a lot of talent and the ability to take off at any moment. With him in the lineup as a role player, it will only add to the Clippers’ success and make them even more of a contender come playoff time.

Caron Butler

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Unlike Danny Granger, Caron Butler didn’t switch homes as much this year. In the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, he spent his days in Los Angeles playing for the Clippers. Last season, he started 78 games for the Clips, averaging 10.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.7 steals per game.

Over the offseason, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. There, he played in 34 games and started 13. His averages were a little higher than in Los Angeles, putting up 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.7 steals per game. He served as a great role player to the team, but unfortunately they saw a need to let him go.

Butler agreed to a contract buyout with Milwaukee. After clearing waivers a couple days later, it was announced by the Oklahoma City Thunder had signed him. Although it seemed like a high possibility of him joining the Miami Heat, who drafted him in 2002, he proved everybody wrong. With the chance to go to a number of teams that could’ve offered him more money and more minutes, some were confused as to why he chose the Thunder.

One logical reason would be that his style of play and mentality fits with the Thunder’s almost identically. He brings toughness, experience (a championship with Dallas in 2011), professionalism, good character, savvy defense, and good three-point shooting. He is only the second player Oklahoma City has signed after another team agreed to a buyout, joining Derek Fisher. Both players brought well-maintained reputations for being great citizens, community-minded individuals, and championship-driven players. Those match the Thunder perfectly.

It’s no doubt that Caron Butler will be used as a role player. And it’s no doubt that he will find success in that field, as he has in the past. He will quickly adapt to his role and do whatever he can to help his team win games and ultimately win the championship.

Conclusion

To be cliché, only time will tell as to who will pose as a bigger impact to their team. Both players will bring a style of play that fits their team perfectly. It’s just a matter of which team uses their newly acquired player more and which star produces in their time given. Both are looking at a solid chance and both will not back down from the challenge.

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