Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has always had a soft spot for Jeff Green. He liked Green so much that he chose the Georgetown junior with the fifth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, only to send him to the Seattle SuperSonics as part of the trade that landed Ray Allen in Beantown.
Ainge's affection for Green remained strong enough for long enough that, in 2011, he flipped Kendrick Perkins—a key cog in the C's 2008 championship squad—to the Oklahoma City Thunder to bring Green back to Boston.
And now, it appears as though Ainge and the Celtics have big plans for Green once again. According to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald, the C's are prepared to ink Green to a four-year, $36 million deal.
Jeff Green's new contract—smart or not smart for the Celtics?
This, despite the fact that Green missed the entire 2011-12 season on account of an aortic aneurysm and that, frankly, Green probably isn't worth that sort of dough anyway.
Dollars and sense aside, the Celtics will likely call upon Green to play a crucial part in their push for Eastern Conference supremacy next season, be it off the bench or as an occasional starter. Green is something of a "tweener" up front, a jack-of-all-trades-type player who can shoot, pass, rebound and defend at either the small forward or the power forward position.
Doc Rivers could ostensibly slot Green in as a starter, with Kevin Garnett sliding over to center (as he did for much of last season) and Paul Pierce still entrenched on the wing. Or, Rivers could keep the newly re-signed Brandon Bass at power forward and employ Green as a facilitator off the bench.
Either way, Green can hardly be counted on to replace the production that Ray Allen has since taken with him to South Beach. Green is capable of hitting the occasional outside shot, but, as a 33.7 percent three-point shooter for his career, he's hardly a marksman, much less a fair fill-in for a future Hall of Famer.
Still, what Green does bring to the table—athleticism, hustle, versatility, ball-handling, passing, shooting, defense at multiple positions—should be enough to warrant his reportedly hefty price tag if Doc clears out enough minutes and crafts the proper role for him.
Surely, Danny Ainge would be pleased to see that. As for his C's hanging another banner in the rafters of the TD Bank Garden with Green in the building, well...
One step at a time, folks.