Lakers Rumors: Why Gerald Green Sleeper Signing Will Spark Lakers

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2011

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 20:  Guard Gerald Green #8 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball against George Hill #3 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 20, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The headlines engulfing the Los Angeles Lakers these days are all centered on Chris Paul, but today the Lake Show put all of that aside to sign free agent shooting guard Gerald Green.

Green was a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics in 2005 and won the 2007 slam dunk contest during All-Star weekend. His career also includes stints with Minnesota, Houston and Dallas. He is coming off four games played in China this fall and will put on the purple and gold at the relatively young age of 25.

His slam dunk performance was a memorable one, and the only reason Green was never able to stick with one team was because of his immaturity. He has been humbled and now gets a second chance at redemption.

He is exactly what the Lakers need right now for the following reasons:

1. He comes at the dirt-cheap price of the veteran's minimum, which is always important when chasing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

2. He provides shooting guard depth at a position sorely needing as much.

3. He brings athleticism to the table that the recently departed Shannon Brown provided. Green can jump out of the gym and has the sort of explosiveness to be a regular on the top-10 reel. Remember the birthday candle blowout when he won the dunk completion? I know this isn’t the formula for championships, but at 6'8", 200 pounds, he can be a matchup nightmare when taller and slower defenders are forced to defend him out on the perimeter.

4. His youthfulness. This Lakers team is quietly becoming an old and crotchety bunch that is begrudgingly going through the motions while secretly being furious at David Stern.

If Green begins the season as the starter at 2-guard, the Lakers will be in big trouble. Green isn’t that good. Yet he can be an invaluable asset off the bench to provide 15 to 20 minutes of high-energy, exciting basketball to infuse some life into a team that is shaping up to be the grandpas of the NBA.

If Green is unable to shake off the rust of not playing in the league for two years, cut him in training camp. No big deal at all.

Tuesday’s signing of Green is a low-risk decision that has the potential to pay off big time. Here it is: the first positive news of free agency for LA!

Not exactly what you were expecting, was it?

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