Better Know A Free Agent: Jeff Green
by Mike Prada
May 23, 2012
Depending on what the Washington Wizards do with Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis, they could have around $12 million of salary-cap space to spend this summer. It remains to be seen if the Wizards actually use it or bank it towards the 2013 class, but in any event, there are a number of free agents that could help the team's push into playoff contention. We'll take a look at several of those options in this running series. Next up: local favorite Jeff Green.
Unrestricted free agent.
This past year:
Well, he didn't play this year after doctors discovered a very serious heart ailment. Two years ago, he was traded from the Thunder to the Celtics, and he struggled to figure out how to become a part-time player that came off the bench. Of course, you could argue he was basically the same player with both teams, just in less minutes. His PER in 49 games for the Thunder in 2010-11 was the exact same (12.9) as his PER in 26 regular-season games for the Celtics.
Why he's fit in well:
He's deferential, I guess, and he's a local guy. He's also a splendid person from all accounts. All OK if he's your ninth man.
Why he might not:
To those who like Green: please explain to me what he does well? Shoot? His three-point percentage the past two years: 33 percent, 30 percent. Rebound? His career rebound rate is 9.4, which is average … for a small forward. Defend? The Thunder were 6.78 points better per 100 possessions with Green off the floor in 2010-11, 9.21 points per 100 possessions better in 2009-10, 3.51 in 2008-09 and 4 in 2007-08. Exhibit good "basketball IQ?" That's a buzzword people use to try to explain why he is so highly-regarded, but it doesn't manifest itself on the court at all. The truth is that he's a very mediocre player who wasn't getting any better before his heart ailment and doesn't really bring anything special to the table. There's a reason the Thunder went from "nice young team" to "championship contender" once they traded him away.
Likely price tag:
Given his health issues, he probably won't sign for very much.
Jeff Green is a wonderful person and I hope he can keep his career going after his scary heart issues in December. I just hope it's for a team other than the Wizards, and that's no matter his price range. Roster spots are important, and I don't see much upside in giving Green one in the hopes that he'll revive what has mostly been a mediocre career this far.