Meanwhile, the Celtics believe they’re “close,” as one source put it, to reaching agreement on a new deal with Green, who missed all of last season after undergoing open-heart surgery in December to repair an aortic aneurysm.
But a source close to 25-year-old forward Jeff Green said the odds of him also returning to Beantown as well are high, thanks in large part to his affinity for coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics’ stance that he’s an important part of their future going forward.
CH Says: We burned through a lot of bandwidth last season trying to make sense of the poor play of Green after he was acquired from Oklahoma City. That’s why the one-year contract he signed in December made a lot of sense for both sides: Green was to make $9M and re-establish his market value and the Celtics were to avoid a multi-year burden for an unproven player. Both sides stood to benefit from Green turning in a standout season.
It appears Green’s heart problems may have just pushed the timing on that make-good contract back seven months. Which is the tricky bit. Given the offer sheet Minnesota dangled in front of Nicolas Batum (reportedly 4 years/$44M) and the $40M contract Brooklyn lavished on Gerald Wallace, there’s no reason to think Green has to settle for a single year, even if there are both literal and metaphorical questions about his heart.
If Danny Ainge manages to cut a deal for two years or less, it’s almost certainly a win. If Green performs to his potential, the Celtics benefit. If he repeats the spring of 2011, well, Green’s still young enough and promising enough that he can be moved for other assets. If it takes three or four years to get Green locked down or dollars approaching $10 million per annum, the Celtics are tying their fortunes and long term cap flexibility to a player who, at least so far, has performed right around the median level in this league. If not a bit below it.