Danny Granger has fallen out of the plans of the Indiana Pacers while he's been out due to injury as the team has become a title contender without him.
Granger is earning $14 million in the expiring season of his contract.
"It's really important for me to remain a Pacer," Granger said Saturday. "I feel like I've been a big part of the building, gone through a lot of the bad years and now the good. I'd love to stay, but I understand the business of basketball and I understand that I might be a trade commodity."
"I've talked to Danny, talked to his agent; I'm not looking to trade him," team President Larry Bird said Saturday. "But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it, but I'm not out there looking at deals."
Bird questions whether Granger's work ethic will allow him to become his former self.
"He doesn't work hard enough (in the offseason)," Bird said. "He's not a guy who'll push himself to the brink like a lot of our guys do. He works hard but he doesn't push himself. That's why he starts slow every year and he just works his way back. Now this year, he's been hurt, so it's a different deal."
Bird believes Granger can become the Pacers' x-factor late in the season and into the playoffs.
"You know how I feel about Danny," Bird said. "He brings so much more to our team than people realize. Watching the game Friday night, our team finally looked complete. Just his toughness, his ability to shoot the ball from the outside. What we're going to need is for him to defend. It all boils down to how he defends, and that'll determine how many minutes he gets."