The San Antonio Spurs Danny Green did not have his best year offensively during the 2015-16 campaign. If he continues his slump, should he be traded?
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I know what you are saying. The season has not even started and we are already talking about trading Green? Well, I am sure this crossed your mind last season. I hate to see one player leave a team but when he is not performing, what else do we do?
Here are a few teams that could plausibly be trading partners with the Spurs that need a shooting guard and have cap space to take on Green’s $10 million contract.
Keep in mind that with the salary cap rising, that $10 million for a capable starting shooting guard will look like a bargain after this offseason. Teams would be wise to take advantage of that if they want a starting shooting guard for cheaper than they might get on the free agent market.
The Kings traded shooting guard Marco Belinelli to the Charlotte Hornets. Their only primary shooting guard under contract for next season is Ben McLemore. The former lottery pick has been underwhelming so far in his NBA career.
The Kings have about $31 million in cap space currently. Green could start for them and provide fantastic defense and slick outside shooting. The Kings ranked only 19th in 3-pointers made last season, but ranked 10th in the league in percentage.
Green would add a consistent threat from downtown. Although he had a poor season shooting last year, his career 3-point percentage of 40.3 percent distinguishes him as an elite outside shooter that the Kings can utilize.
Apr 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore (24) dribbles the ball against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Kent Bazemore is a free agent, and made only $2 million last season. He’s going to want a significant raise. With the league salary cap skyrocketing, it doesn’t seem like too big of a stretch for a youthful, two-way player like Bazemore to get more than $10 million from another team.
If the Hawks want to save some money, they could acquire Green to provide that great perimeter defense that Bazemore plays. The Hawks currently have about $37 million in cap space. They would have the capability to retain Al Horford and replace Bazemore with a cheaper alternative like Green.
New York Knicks
The Knicks’ depth chart looks pretty sparse after the Derrick Rose trade. Their starting shooting guard looks to be Justin Holliday as of now, in terms of players they currently have under contract. They have a lot of cap space remaining to fill out their roster, and the $10 million that Green makes could be a bargain for a starting shooting guard.
The Knicks could upgrade their shooting guard situation while still having money left over to pursue a marquee big man.
A lineup of Rose, Green, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and a high profile free agent center like Joakim Noah suddenly looks very intriguing. The Knicks would love to cheaply fortify shooting guard with Green and splurge on a center.
The Magic just traded Victor Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Evan Fournier is a restricted free agent, and although the Magic have extended a qualifying offer to him, it is unclear as of now if they’ll match whatever offer sheet another team gives him.
Currently penciled in as the first strong shooting guard in Orlando in terms of players under contract is Mario Hezonja. Green could give the Magic a solid veteran presence at shooting guard. The Magic currently have about $49 million in cap space.
They can easily fit in Green to provide outside shooting and great defense.
As of now, Philadelphia has about $61 million in cap space. They’ve got a lot of money to spend, and it will be up to them to determine how to judiciously allocate that money. Green is a cheap $10 million option to plug in at shooting guard. Hollis Thompson is their starting shooting guard currently on their roster.
They are a very young team, and Green could provide solid veteran leadership. He’s played a big role on a championship team, and he could bestow on his teammates in Philadelphia the right mindset that it takes to be a champion.