Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green is reportedly available to the highest bidder. With a ceiling closing on his potential and a contract outpacing his production, it might not take much to place that highest bid.
In the trade rumor mill—a cloudy world of half-truths and billowing smoke—it's rare to find a report with language as direct as the one announcing Green's availability. The forward, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald wrote, is "eminently available" if anyone's in the market for a slightly overpriced third or fourth option.
Green was a solid volume contributor for a 25-win team. Something tells me that's not the way Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will start his sales pitch. He may point to Green's career-high 16.9 scoring average, his personal-best 135 made threes or even his age (27).
Potential trade partners, of course, may counter with Green's career-low 41.2 field-goal percentage, career-high 396 three-point attempts and also with his age. Ainge might try to push that number as a sign Green should be years away from significant decline, but buyers could see it as suggesting little to no room for growth.
It's hard to put much stock into Green's 2013-14 campaign. He spent the majority of it as a primary offensive option, a role it's hard to imagine any potential suitor picturing him filling. Ainge said he liked what he saw—he may have a deal to close, remember—and expects even better things moving forward.
"He became more a focal point of the offense and he had his ups and downs with that, but I think his game is complete and I think that Jeff is improving as a player," Ainge said, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston. "I think he still has a lot of growth still left in his game and I think he’s going to have a better year next year than he had this year."
Green already identified one area he'd like to address over the offseason.
"I feel like I should come back with a little bit more swagger," he told Basketball Insiders' Jessica Camerato. "Not having an attitude towards people or going out there getting technical fouls, but just having a little swagger to my game. I’m so even keeled that, once again, people take it that I don’t care about situations, but that’s just my demeanor."
If that swagger includes an expanded off-the-dribble offensive arsenal, more consistency (22 games with 20-plus points, 14 with single digits) and better glass work (4.6 rebounds), maybe then the bids for his services will reach a substantial level.
For now, it's hard to imagine anyone giving up much for a streaky scorer who doesn't impact the game in other ways and has $9.2 million coming his way next season (plus a $9.2 million player option for the following year), via ShamSports.com.
If someone (somehow) seems him as the missing to piece to their championship plans, perhaps Ainge can add another asset or two to his collection. It shouldn't take any more than that to pry him out of Boston, provided there is a team willing to pay that price.