Jeff Green: 5 Reasons the Boston Celtics Will Regret Bringing Him Back
Jeff Green put up 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game over his 26 games in a Boston Celtics uniform two seasons ago.
Everyone knows the story by now.
In the middle of the 2010-2011 season, the Celtics dealt their starting center Kendrick Perkins and backup combo guard Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and the draft pick that became Fab Melo.
Now Krstic has fled to Europe for good, and Green was forced to miss the entire 2011-2012 season due to heart surgery.
Green will return next season for the Celtics with a fat new contract, having done nothing for the team to earn it. He will have to play very well, very early or playing in Boston will get rather uncomfortable as the Celtics learn to regret re-signing him.
Worth the Money?
The latest reports, per the Boston Herald, are holding steady that Jeff Green will receive a contract worth four years and $36 million. Seems a bit steep for a man coming off something as serious sounding as surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.
The deal should even out to $9 million a year, or exactly what the Celtics offered the player in December of 2011, a week before his heart complications arose.
Not only is Boston willing to pay the same amount to a player coming off heart surgery as a player without a trace of ailment, it will do so with the security of four years instead of 2011's one-year deal.
Green's only time spent in a Boston uniform was a depressing 26 games just after he was traded to the team. He did not even come close to impressing enough to warrant a big deal like this.
Green has immediately become the fourth-highest-paid player on the Celtics, and outside of the rookies, the only one with job security through the 2015 season.
He'll have to play like their fourth-best player or the Celtics will regret this signing.
Restricting Boston in Other Areas
Relating to the monetary situation, the Celtics tied up a lot of their money with Jeff Green. His steep contract has somewhat hindered them from straight-up signing players like Courtney Lee and O.J. Mayo.
In order to get Lee to Boston, according to The Boston Globe, the Celtics have to deal two young prospects in a sign-and-trade deal with Houston. Mind you, both Lee and Mayo have definite basketball positions. Something Green cannot seem to find.
Lee may very well start the season as the starting shooting guard due to Avery Bradley's surgeries. Green has the PF size but is a softer player than most 4s and can't rebound the ball well enough.
His contract has helped make it difficult even to re-sign a quality depth player like Greg Stiemsma or, for that matter, attract any free-agent big to help with their thin frontcourt.
Green cannot contribute where the Celtics' biggest hole was—rebounding. He is also hindering Boston's ability to bring in someone who can, in fact, rebound.
Doesn't Give Celtics What They Need
The driving force behind their inability on the glass was injuries to their frontcourt.
The 6'9" Jeff Green was joined on the season-ending sidelines by centers Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal. This thrust Kevin Garnett to the 5 and forced Brandon Bass and Greg Stiemsma into the spotlight, neither of which are great rebounders.
Unfortunately, neither is Green. His career high for rebounding in a season came in 2008 when he grabbed 6.6 per game. In the 26 games with the Celtics, he managed just 3.3 per game.
If rebounding was one of the Celtics' biggest issues last season, how does re-signing Jeff Green to spend time at the 4 help?
Once again, the term aortic aneurysm is not leaving the minds of any Celtics fans any time soon.
Yes, Jeff Green has been fully cleared to play by numerous doctors, but there has to be lingering concern over that serious of a health issue.
On top of his heart, he has spent a full year outside of playing competitive basketball. The idea that he is going to seamlessly transition back into the most competitive and talented league in the world seems a bit far-fetched.
We won't know enough about his conditioning until training camp, and we won't know how he'll perform in game-like circumstances until the season gets underway. However, taking a year off from basketball can not be a good thing for a young player who was already struggling to find a home with this team.
Missing a decent amount of time due to minor injuries is not out of the question, and that is a big concern.
Injuries were the major cause of Boston's downfall last season, and it will regret this signing if it causes the team to lose prematurely yet again.
Hasn't Boston Seen This Type of Player Before?
The Celtics are no strangers to physically talented players who often disappear in the middle of games, particularly big ones. This was the very reason they parted with Joe Johnson early in his career.
While Jeff Green has only been a party to three playoff series in his career, they have represented some of the worst basketball he has ever played.
In 2010 with the Thunder, he took part in the opening-round series against Los Angeles. Green played more than 37 minutes per game in the series but managed to score just 11.8 points on 33 percent shooting.
The bottom line is that Green has not proven his worth in crunch time or in big games. He remains an unproven disappearing act who can go relatively unnoticed on the floor for huge chunks of time.
Nothing angers Boston fans more than players who don't rise up in big games.