Danny Granger was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 17th pick in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft. Granger played four years of college basketball, first at Bradley University and then at the University of New Mexico. He earned his degree and entered a very strong and deep draft class which also included Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Monta Ellis, Raymond Felton, Charlie Villanueva, and Jose Calderon. Granger would prove to be one of the stars of his draft class as he has become one of the NBA’s top shooters and scorers.
During his NCAA basketball years, Danny Granger developed an expansive skill set. He began as an athletic scorer and rebounder and added an outside game and additional defensive skills in college. In his senior season, Granger averaged 19 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks per game, leading led New Mexico to its first NCAA tournament appearance in six years.
With the size of a power forward and the athletic ability of a swingman, Danny Granger was a good bet to develop into a good NBA player. He had a solid rookie season for the Pacers, posting overall averages of eight points, five rebounds, and a block per game. He made a handful of starts and earned NBA All-Rookie honors in the postseason.
After Danny Granger’s first season, his development focused primarily on his outside game. During his second year, Granger earned a spot in the starting lineup. In an injury-riddled season for the Pacers, Granger was the team’s only player to play in all 82 regular season games. He improved his scoring average to 13.9 per game as he became a threat from beyond the arc, shooting 38 percent from three point range.
Danny Granger took another leap in his third year in the NBA. Granger became the star player for the Pacers as he averaged 19.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game in 2007-08. He really stepped up as one of the league’s premier three point shooters, ranking among the leaders in both three point baskets and percentage.
Granger took a final leap in his fourth season. Fully established as a good NBA player, he stepped up his game and became an All-Star for the first time in 2009. Granger averaged a career high 26 points per game, good for fifth in the NBA. He ranked second in three point shots by sinking 2.7 per game at a 40.4 percent clip. At season’s end, Danny Granger was named the 2009 NBA Most Improved Player. Proving that his growth as a player was no fluke, he finished among the leaders in scoring and three point shooting again in 2009-10, this time leading the league in threes per game with an average of 2.6.
In his five-year NBA career, Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger has developed into one of basketball’s most complete players, filling up stat sheets with above average numbers in scoring rebounds, steals, blocks, threes, and free throw shooting. For the last two seasons, Granger has stepped up as one of the top ten scorers and three point shooters in the league.