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Anonymous GM Speaks On Why Jeff Green Probably Wasn’t Traded


Picture21_crop_exact-1The Celtics did not trade Jeff Green (or anyone else) at the trade deadline this year, even though there is a strong likelihood they had an interest in moving him and other veterans on the roster. NBA.com’s David Aldridge jam-packed Morning Tip column today explored some of the ins and outs of the trade deadline, which included some commentary from a GM on why Green’s deal couldn’t fetch enough on the market for Ainge to move him.

“Firsts are so valuable with the new rules and tax,” an Eastern Conference GM texted Sunday. “For the better teams who are picking late as well as teams close to the tax, they are so valuable because you can get players on cheap contracts and control them for four years.”

A Western Conference GM pointed out something else important as well: The new CBA has shorter max lengths for contracts (four to sign another team’s free agents; five to re-sign your own). Those shorter deals are less attractive to trade for.

“Jeff Green is only under contract for one year [before his player option],” the GM texted, referring to the Celtics’ veteran forward. “Expiring contracts used to get contracts [in trades] for three to five years. That was worth a first.”

And, of course, you can’t ignore the possibility that at least a few teams were likely keeping their powder dry for the next few summers, with their potential bonanza of free agents. No, the SuperFriends are not going to visit every team with cap room if they all opt out. But there are both superstar and solid players available this summer (Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Danny Granger), in 2015 (Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan) and in 2016 (Kevin Durant, Al Horford, David Lee).

CH’s Analysis: This really shouldn’t come as a major surprise to Celtics fans. The fact of the matter is not only is Green on a relatively short-term deal at this stage of his career, it’s also not a team-friendly deals. Green right now, is simply not worth over $9 million dollars a season to anyone in this league. The larger point stands though for other deals like Bass that weren’t moved. He’s signed to a much more reasonable $6.5 million dollars per year, but is only signed through next season, limiting his value to his suitors.

Unless you are giving up an attractive asset for two full seasons, it’s going to be tough to fetch a first round pick from any team in this new-look market. That’s why the Celtics having nine of them over the next five years should put in the driver seat to make some major moves once this offseason rolls around.

  • hax

    Green’s value will only rise as he continues to improve and his contract continues to get shorter.
    Buy low-Sell high.

    Brad Stevens had dinner with Gordon Hayward last night. #free-agent

  • Ping

    I think Jeff Green’s contract continues to be maligned too much. Is he worth $9 million on nights when he’s 2-13 from the field with one rebound? Of course not, and that’s why he’s labeled “overpaid.” But his talents and what potential he has left merit a deal greater than a couple million per.

    Look around the league at guys who score at the clip Jeff does (16.8 ppg):

    Kyle Lowry – 16.9 ppg, $6 mil, a better offensive and defensive player about to get paid
    Josh Smith – 16.2 ppg, $14 mil, as much potential as anyone but is just the worst
    Gordon Hayward – 16.0 ppg, expected to make $7-9 mil, struggles on D/developing O
    Eric Gordon – 15.8 ppg, $14 mil, huge offensive potential but constantly injured

    So again, the holes in Jeff’s game make him maddeningly inconsistent, but his scoring ability is a defined skill that commands an inflated price. $9 mil per year really isn’t bad.

    That said, GMs are definitely afraid of any short contract above $5 mil, it seems. Simmons and Lowe discussed it at length in their NBA deadline article. It’s some mix of 1st round pick evaluation, cap space overestimation, and contract length that make moving guys in Green’s tier difficult.

    • hax

      Rondo goes 2-12 pretty often and he’s gonna get a max deal next summer :p

    • glp

      And he has size and quickness to defend likes of LeBron and Carmelo.

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