This week the Clippers showed they have become the destination of choice for top free agents.
On Friday afternoon the Clippers signed veteran free-agent small forward Danny Granger, after he was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
It was the team’s second notable pickup of the week. The Clippers signed free-agent power forward Glen Davis on Monday after he’d been waived by the Orlando Magic.
By getting both Granger and Davis, the Clippers filled their most pressing need by improving their frontcourt.
With players such as All-Stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, and top NBA sixth-man candidate Jamal Crawford, it’s becoming clear that the Clippers don’t have to recruit as hard as they did in the past to get quality free agents.
“Obviously playing in Los Angeles, it’s not a bad place to be,” Griffin said Friday. “It’s one of the best cities to play in.
“The whole concept and the idea of the Clippers has completely changed. I don’t think people look at it nearly the same way. So why shouldn’t this be one of the best destinations?”
Granger, who played nine seasons with Indiana, was traded to the 76ers last week. After Granger secured a buyout from Philadelphia and cleared waivers, he chose the Clippers over San Antonio, Miami, Chicago and Houston.
Granger, 30, made his choice after meeting with Clippers Coach Doc Rivers on Thursday night; it was the second time this week that Granger and Rivers had talked.
The Clippers sold Granger on the possibility of eventually being a starter at the small forward spot, or at least being a player who would play substantial minutes. Granger is expected to play Saturday night when the Clippers host New Orleans at Staples Center.
The Clippers like that the 6-foot-9 Granger can provide them with more outside shooting, especially with starting shooting guard J.J. Redick out because of a bulging disk in his lower back and with Crawford listed as day to day with a strained left calf.
“I think I bring another dynamic,” Granger said on the Clipper’s website Friday afternoon. “I’m a bigger small forward. I can play the ‘four’ [power forward] as well. And I can shoot the ball, and when you add that to the type of offense that we have — up-tempo — [I can] shoot a lot of threes, go out and space the court. That’s the kind of offense that I think I would thrive in.”
Granger, a former All-Star, played in just 29 games for the Pacers this season because of a strained left calf. And he played in just five games last season with the Pacers because of left knee surgery.
But Granger has a career average of 17.6 points a game, on 45.3% shooting, and 38.2% on three-pointers.
The Clippers said Rivers wasn’t at practice Friday for “personal reasons.” He is expected back in time for Saturday’s shootaround.