Following a disappointing 2015-16 season, Gerald Green will get a fresh start with the Boston Celtics.
Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com was the first to report the signing. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe later confirmed and added that it is a guaranteed deal. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald noted Green would get the veteran minimum on his one-year contract.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a successful two-year spell with the Phoenix Suns from 2013-15 and parlayed that success into a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Heat. His performance dropped significantly in South Beach, though.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Green's scoring average per 36 minutes fell from 22.0 in 2014-15 to 14.2 in 2015-16. Both his shooting percentage (39.2) and three-point percentage (32.3) also declined from their equivalents—41.6 and 35.4 percent, respectively—a year earlier.
Green's regression as a scorer was all the more impactful since he has never been a very good defender in the NBA. Particularly in Phoenix, he offset that with his three-point shooting, but the Heat weren't afforded the same luxury. Miami was 2.1 points better per 100 possessions when Green was off the floor, per NBA.com.
It's telling Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra only played Green 9.2 minutes a night in the playoffs.
The nine-year veteran is still capable of going off for a big night. He dropped 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting in a 112-106 win for the Heat over the Sacramento Kings on April 1:
At this point in his career, the book is pretty much out on Green. He remade himself into more of a versatile scorer after returning to the league in 2011, but his ceiling is a slightly above-average NBA swingman.
It's possible Green can have a bounce-back 2016-17 season. The Heat had issues that went beyond his play—namely Goran Dragic's regression and the fact Chris Bosh missed a major chunk of the season after his blood-clot issue resurfaced.
Green also got pushed further down the depth chart the longer the season went on. Minutes at the 2 were hard to come by with Dwyane Wade holding down the starting spot, and Joe Johnson's midseason arrival cut into his playing time at the 3.
Signing Green is a smart buy-low investment for Boston. He is seemingly a far more effective bench player than he was when the Celtics spent the No. 18 overall selection in the 2005 NBA draft on him as well.
Boston has a somewhat crowded backcourt, but it lacked a shooter off the bench prior to the signing of Green.
Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley will undoubtedly continue to carry the bulk of the load from the guard position, but Green is an offensive spark plug who can change the complexion of a game when he is locked in, and that fact alone makes him a worthwhile gamble as the C's look to rejoin the Eastern Conference's elite ranks.