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Differing views of Jeff Green’s big contract in Boston

Sep 27, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Jeff Green Getty Images

Jeff Green signed to a four year, $36 million deal with the Celtics last summer. The fourth year is a player option and it contains a number of incentive clauses that could take it up to a $40 million deal.

That for a guy that Oklahoma City wanted to move and who missed last season to have heart surgery.

A lot of people around the league shook their heads at that contract. I’ve said here more than once that GM Danny Ainge overpaid. And gave too long a deal. Celtics fans have defended Green as the kind of young, athletic player they need and someone that can help them win now and transition to a new era after Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett retire.

Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated has a great piece where he talked to a few people about the situation and got different perspectives on the deal. Go read it.

Here are a couple highlights, starting with Green’s agent David Faulk:

“Like most deals, there will probably be people who think that he was overpaid. I always feel he could have got a little more money, but because Jeff had such a strong feeling about returning to Boston, he [did this deal]. I feel that if he would’ve told me, ‘I don’t care where I go, just get me the most money,’ then he probably could’ve gotten $11 or $12 million a year.”

However, a GM from another team wasn’t as impressed, but said Ainge really had no choice because he couldn’t let Green walk.

“Go back to that deal that Danny made (trading Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City). He made a deal for Nenad Krstic, who’s now in Russia; Jeff Green, who missed a season with a heart condition; and the Clippers’ pick, which was supposed to be this jewel of a pick but ended up being 22nd….

“You’re talking about a guy who you’re now making a part of your future who Oklahoma City knew they couldn’t win a championship with. He doesn’t have a position. He doesn’t rebound it well enough to be a power forward, he doesn’t shoot it well enough to be a small forward, he isn’t quick enough to be a small forward, so you can’t replace Kevin Garnett and you can’t replace Paul Pierce. So not only do you overpay him, but you don’t get an [injury] exclusion on the heart?”

Go read the entire thing, each person (including a scout for an Eastern Conference team) debate back and forth, basically.

It comes down to this — it’s on Green now. He’s got the big deal and he’s going to have the big role as sixth man on a top-flight team. He can’t hide, he can’t be average. He needs to play better than he did in his first months in Boston, he needs to be part of the win-now team the Celtics have assembled.

We’re all watching. Green has to perform.

  1. mungman69 - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Jeff Green will have one great year.

  2. fanz928 - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Green had already proven himself in okc he is a impact player he just wasn’t going to get minutes behind ibaka and durant

  3. moseskkim - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I think most people saw that contract and said huh? The second executive seemed right on point. He can’t shoot, cant rebound. So yeah he has to improve a lot. Boston’s gonna have a tough time rebounding with an aging kg, undersized bass and green. And like the only legit 7 footer/shot blocker goes to minny. (melo is a project right now)

  4. eventhorizon04 - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I like Jeff Green’s upside, but let’s be real.

    Nobody was going to give him a 4-year, $11 million a year contract, a year after major surgery, and 2 years after he struggled coming off the bench for Boston.

    If Green had accepted a contract in the $7-8 million a year range, I’d buy the whole, “Green left a lot of money on the table to stay with Boston.” Indeed, when I first heard about the negotiations, I expected a 4-5 year deal in that price range per year.

    However, he’s a bench wing player who hasn’t played basketball in over a year getting paid the same amount as Rondo this year. That’s not a discount.

    He COULD live up to this contact by proving to be a great backup for Pierce, but let’s not pretend he gave Boston a discount.

    • hoopfan71 - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      Jeff Green is a typical, decent do-it-all kind of player with good athletic ability that everyone waits on to become a star. In my opinion, he’s not a rising star. He reminds me a lot of another player who played for the Sonics and OKC: Desmond Mason.

      Both Green and Mason have/had bad mechanics on their jump shots (Green kicks his elbow out), which creates a flat, inconsistent shot, or a shot that kicks off to one side of the rim. Also, Green is not good at creating shots off the dribble, which is why he’s either spotted up behind the three-point line or scoring in the paint. He has no mid-range game. It’s too bad, because Green is obviously physically gifted.

  5. pukpokito - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    The time is now for Jeff Green. The Celtics are paying him to be a difference maker on both sides of the ball. He has to be an impact player in a way that he MUST be the X-factor in helping the Celtics be successful.He needs to be the Avery Bradley late last season when he broke out, but sooner this season.For $9 million a season, sorry Jeff but you have to contribute in helping the Celtics win games whether they are regular, important postseason games.He needs to step up vs the Lakers, Durant, LeBron, Carmelo etc.Can’t let Pierce burden all those again.

  6. headcracker800 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    It is amazing how many folk that have no understanding of how to win can sound as if they are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to an individual’s value, tangible and otherwise. The Celtics have proven that they are first rate pursurers of championships, whether we support them or not. The GM that is quoted in the article is clearly misinformed and presenting a negative position for the sake of negativity. The facts are: The Celtics knew that they could not beat Miami without a younger up in coming forward that could compete with Carmello and Lebron. The real insiders know of Green’s actuals and potential. If you analys the deal or trade from a practical stand point, it was necessary if both clubs were thinking championship. Folk are actually wrong about OKC not thinking that J. Green could not help them win a championship, actually it was just the opposite, they could not sign him for what was being offered with Westbrook’s contract to follow. Boston also was at an impass with Perk because of the need to sign a real forward that could help with CA and LJ. The argument could be made, supported by the facts that if Jeff would have been healthy OKC and Boston would have met in the championship. There can be no argument that Danny and Sam are head and shoulders above the GM used for this article. I wouldnt be suprised if the purported GM used for this article is actually an ex or sour or jealous or just a paid assassin.

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 7, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      I will tell you that you are wrong about what OKC thought about Green, they were souring on him and did not want to pay him like the core. They sold high with him, but be assured that people inside the organization were not that high on him. I’m not making that up, that’s talking to people in said organization.

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