PHILADELPHIA -- Danny Granger, we hardly knew you.
In a move that surprised no one, the 76ers announced Wednesday that they had bought out the remaining contract of Granger, acquired from the Indiana Pacers at last Thursday's trade deadline. Granger and Indiana's second-round pick in 2015, via Golden State, came here in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Hampered by knee injuries and with an expiring contract after this season, Granger appears to have strongly suggested to the Sixers that not playing here was in his best interest.
"Given Danny's future goals and his desire to pursue them, we worked to fulfill his request and have come to a resolution that we feel is mutually beneficial to both Danny and our organization," Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said in a statement. "We wish Danny the best in the next phase of his career."
The payout owed Granger by the Sixers is somewhere around $4 million, and once he clears waivers in the next 48 hours, he becomes a free agent and could be highly coveted around the NBA. Reports Wednesday night had the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and others interested in Granger's services.
"We wish him well," said Sixers coach Brett Brown, adding that the talks between the team and Granger were amicable and that Granger had earned the right for the team to grant his wishes.
There weren't very high expectations for Wednesday night's game, featuring the 76ers, losers of 11 consecutive games, and the Orlando Magic, whose 17 wins coming into the game were only two better than the Sixers. And Orlando hadn't won a road game since Dec. 16.
The game lived down to all the non-hype, as the Magic extended the Sixers' overall losing streak and handed them their 11th straight home loss with a 101-90 decision.
Defense has been pretty much non-existent of late for the Sixers, so it was a good sign that they allowed only 40 in the first half in building a four-point lead. But the deficiencies showed again in the second half (61 points allowed), and a superb fourth-quarter performance by Jameer Nelson helped the Magic improve to 18-42, while the Sixers fell to 15-43.
"I did see improvement with our group," Brown said. "We had a few sessions with our three new players, and you felt like you could tighten things up a little bit. You felt like you had a chance to coach something structurally, offense or defense. I did see improvement."
But it still wasn't enough, and the Sixers now have their longest losing streak since dropping 14 in a row in 1989.
"It was a deterioration, just look at the deterioration in the defensive numbers," Brown said. "The last quarter was the one that got us, obviously. Jameer was a veteran point guard. Jameer was tough. But we're good, and life moves on, and the locker room is good. We move on; we buy some more time with a (new) group.
"There's a competitive side that it stinks, and we want to win. But it doesn't cripple anything that we're doing, in regards to how we wake up and do the next day."
Nelson scored 12 of his 16 in the final period and dealt 12 assists on the night to propel Orlando. Former Sixer Nikola Vucevic collected 21 points and 12 rebounds, rookie Victor Oladipo had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris scored 13 each.
Thaddeus Young again led the Sixers with 19 points, followed by Tony Wroten's 15 and Eric Maynor's season-high 13. Newcomer Henry Sims had a career high 10 points and six rebounds in his first start with the team.