The wait lasted longer than most of us could have imagined, but the deal is finally signed, sealed and delivered. Jeff Green is once again a Celtic, as the C’s officially announced the signing of the small forward via a press release earlier this evening.
“We are thrilled to be able to have Jeff back with the Celtics,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “Jeff’s versatility on offense and ability to guard players out on the perimeter is something that we are looking forward to having on the court this season.”
Green, a 6’9” forward, missed all of the 2011-12 season due to an aortic aneurysm that was discovered during his physical prior to the start of the season. Green, the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, averaged 13.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 32.4 minutes per game during the 2010-11 season split between Boston and Oklahoma City. He was acquired by the Celtics from the Oklahoma City Thunder along with Nenad Krstic and a future first round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson on February 24, 2011.
“I cannot wait to get back out onto the court and help this team towards our goal of winning another championship for Boston,” said Green.
CelticsHub covered the likely reasons for the extended wait into August earlier last week, but now the next part of the waiting game is to see for just how much Green signed for officially, and perhaps more importantly, how much of that money is guaranteed throughout the course of the deal. That information will likely leak out over the next few weeks and we’ll have you covered here at CelticsHub with it.
For now, in case you missed it, here are some thoughts from Brendan Jackson on what to expect out of Green for next season:
In an ideal world, flipping Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green would have gone down as Danny Ainge’s fourth greatest achievement as a GM, behind the Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen offseason, making the draft-night trade for Rajon Rondo, and signing Jermaine O’Neal for two years at the full mid-level exception (OK, one of those moves was not good). Unfortunately, Green struggled to gel with the Celtics at the end of 2011 and missed last season after undergoing surgery for an aortic aneurysm. The hope this season is that the Celtics have a young, athletic small forward to back up Paul Pierce. I’m here to temper those expectations. The truth is that Green has never been particular effective at playing the small forward position. In Green’s last two full seasons, he posted a PER lower than league average for small forwards (albeit in limited minutes). The good news is that Green has also limited his small forward opponent’s production to a PER around league average. At best, the increase in minutes at the small forward position will prove that Green was originally miscast as an undersized power forward. At worst, he’ll be an athletic wing defender able to run with Rajon Rondo. I expect he’ll be somewhere in the middle.