In a breakout performance in Saturday's Nets loss to the Houston Rockets, recent D-League call-up Gerald Green, who is on his second 10-day contract with New Jersey, went absolutely bonkers for 26 points on 10-15 shooting with four three-pointers. He also had one of the craziest in-game dunks in recent memory (sorry Blake Griffin, you haven't matched this yet).
Other than showing that he can be the starting small forward for this team (and an effective one at that), Green showed with his performance that he could even be included in a potential trade package that could bring Dwight Howard up to New Jersey by the NBA trade deadline, which happens to be on Thursday of this week.
A lot of talk around the NBA has revealed that New Jersey is Dwight's No. 1 choice of teams but there has also been some questions as to if the Magic, specifically GM Otis Smith, would be intrigued by a potential trade with the Nets who would probably build a package around center Brook Lopez, guard Marshon Brooks, and a few first-round draft picks. The problem is that that doesn't seem to be enough for the Magic to pull the trigger on sending away their franchise center who is basically the only reason that Orlando is any good right now.
That might all change with the sudden emergence of Green, who has averaged 8.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in the seven games he has played so far with the Nets. Now, Nets' GM Billy King could sweeten a potential trade offer with Orlando by including Green, a crazy high-flyer who can also drain jump shots at a consistent clip as part of his complete offense game. At just 26 years of age, he is in the prime of his career and if his recent play is no aberration, then Gerald Green could, dare I say it, a star or at the very least, a serviceable starting small forward in the NBA in the years to come.
If I was Otis Smith, I would love to have a player with the upside and potential of Green on my roster, especially if I'm getting him in return for my best player. Even looking at the non-trade ramifications of Green resurgence, he could be a big part of the Nets squad going forward if he doesn't get moved to another team via trade.
It looks like the Nets have struck gold with their signing of Gerald Green from the D-League and it just might push them over the threshold in their dogged pursuit of obtaining Dwight Howard through any means possible. He's another good story of a player who was turned away by all NBA teams but got his well-deserved second chance through the D-League and he is definitely making the most of that opportunity.