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Sunday September 14, 2008 11:01 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 8: Danny Granger

Danny Granger
Oh, Rob Babcock, why did you pass on this guy twice for the likes of Charlie Villanueva and Joey Graham? Perhaps concerns lingered about his health, or he just did not want to cross the border north. Still, on the theoretical front, having Danny Granger at the small forward slot alongside Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal would have made a very formidable front line, fantasy or otherwise.

Granger had a break-out season in 2007-08. Can he continue to elevate his game to top 20 in fantasyland?

Granger enters his fourth season in the NBA. Here are his top and bottom stats per game over his first three years.

Best: 82 GP, 46.2 FG%, 85.2 FT%, 19.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.1 3pg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 bpg, 1.0 topg

Worst: 78 GP, 44.6 FG%, 77.7 FT%, 7.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.4 3pg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.1 topg

Granger posted career highs in points, rebounds, assists, free throw percentage, threes, steals and blocks last year. He took 4.5 more field goal attempts per game compared to the previous season, and his field goal percentage dipped below 45%. Much of his production came while Jermaine O’Neal was out with injury. Now JON is in Toronto. With T. J. Ford coming the other way in the trade, the Pacers have upgraded their point guard position. This should benefit Granger the most, as he stands to lead the team in scoring again, and the development of his outside shot means he will be catching a lot of passes from Ford after the speedy point guard drives into the paint.

Granger played his way onto the 1-1-1-plus club i.e. at least one trey, steal and block per game. This fantasy team drafted Kevin Garnett in the first round, and KG also averages at least one steal and block per game. Being eligible at shooting guard, Granger presents a difficult match-up to an opposing fantasy team. The goal for this team will be to continue to draft versatile players who contribute in the rarer categories. Solid point guards and an efficient center would also make the wish list.

One disadvantage to drafting Granger is the relative depth that surrounds the SG and SF positions. Players like Kevin Durant or Brandon Roy will be available later in the draft and provide comparable numbers. Yet that is no knock on Granger who should be primed for another solid campaign.

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