The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t active at the trade deadline but did make an addition to their roster in the buyout market. The Cavaliers signed thirteen-year veteran wing Danny Green after being bought out by the Houston Rockets following his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies. Green signed an one-year two-million dollar deal with the Cavaliers. This will be Green’s second stint with the Cavaliers, having been drafted by the team in 2009.
Green just recently played his first three games of the season recovering from an ACL tear suffered in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals last year. The veteran guard wasn’t given much time to get back into playing shape.
On the Court
What Green brings on the court is simple, he’s the prototypical 3-and-D player. The former Tar Heel is capable of checking opposing wings, getting hot from the corner and providing spacing. Green is thirty-five however coming off an ACL tear and really hasn’t been much of a defender recently. There is no shame in that given his age but it’s an unfortunate reality. The expectation of Green to lockdown quicker, more athletic wings is asking a bit too much at this point in his career.
Offensively, his nickname is “Icy-Hot” for a reason. Green went 1-for-9 from deep and followed that performance up with a 7-of-9 showing from three point land in game two and three of the playoffs in a matchup against the Miami Heat. That’s Green in a nutshell, you’ll love him one game, and hate him the next.
Green can still stroke it with the best of them (career 40% average from three, 38.6% last three years), and he’s a smart player that knows his role. The New York native constantly moves to get into his spots, and will make himself available in the corner perpetually.
Darius Garland will find it easy to distribute the ball to Green as a skilled playmaker. Green doesn’t get gun-shy, and for a shooter that’s important. Spacing from the wing is crucial for the Cavaliers who start two players mostly restricted to the paint offensively, and they’ve lacked consistency from behind the arc in their stars Garland and Donovan Mitchell. Kevin Love’s decline and Dean Wade’s injury in particular have hurt them in that area. Green should, at the very least, fill that shooting gap in the Cavaliers offense.
Green is still serviceable on defense despite his decline in this area. The North Carolina product will not be unplayable on defense unless the injury and age have sapped him completely, especially with the best defensive frontcourt in the league backing him up.
Off the Court
It is important to not get too excited and too hopeful keeping in mind Green’s age and injury history. Green can certainly be an on-the-court contributor, and the Cavaliers lose basically nothing by taking a flyer on him. The wing should bare minimum provide some three-point shooting for a team that really needs it. What gives Green guaranteed value however are the intangibles Green can bring off the court which makes this such a valuable signing.
The Cavalier’s are young which is no secret and are relatively untested in the playoffs outside of Mitchell. Green has been a playoff staple the last decade and a three-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers. Green knows what it takes to be a winner, and has always been a steady locker room presence. That experience and leadership alone is highly valuable to the Cavaliers.
Green will be useful for the culture and locker room even if he happens to be unplayable on the court. The sharpshooters gravity alone should open up the floor though and it is doubtful that Green would have fallen off that steeply in regards to his shooting ability. Overall, it’s a slam dunk signing for the Cavaliers. Low-risk, medium reward and guaranteed value. What’s not to love?
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