Over the past twenty-four hours the Jeff Green trade talks have grown pretty loud. Mike Gorman even spoke about Green on Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning, saying that he believes there is a lot of interest around the league in Jeff Green from what he has heard.
With Green potentially being the next piece that Danny Ainge moves, lets explore some possible trade options that could work:
Trading Green within the Eastern Conference seems almost impossible at this point. Most of the teams know they are not contenders and are looking to unload just like Boston. Cleveland was in need of a small forward until acquiring Luol Deng, the Pacers have absolutely no reason to shake things up, and the Wizards (who have shown they are buyers), have Trevor Ariza playing just as well as Green on a move favorable deal.
Dallas Mavericks: Shawn Marion is growing old in Dallas, and becoming pretty inconsistent. So why not replace him with a younger, equally as inconsistent player? Obviously Green for Marion straight up would never work. Dallas would have to decide that they are no longer trying to clear space for the future and agree to take on Green's deal for two more seasons - Marion expires at the end of the season. If Ainge were willing to throw in the Clippers 2015 first rounder or the recently acquired 76ers potential first rounder to sweeten the deal, then maybe it's worth a phone call.
Houston Rockets: Stop me if you've heard this before… but what about a Jeff Green for Omer Asik deal? The reason this has been so heavily discussed this season is because it makes perfect sense for both teams. Straight up works just fine, but Houston has been hesitant, which is why a draft pick of some sort would be involved. However if the price becomes any of the Celtics' or Nets' first rounders, than the price has become to high. Either of the picks discussed in the Mavs trade above, or a second rounder would be acceptable. Boston gets their center to put next to Jared Sullinger and Houston gets their stretch PF/backup SF.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Give Mike Dyer the credit here, but doesn't swapping Kendrick Perkins and Jeff Green back for each other make sense? Perk has been subpar lately though, meaning the Thunder would most likely need to add an asset. Mike originally suggested adding Jeremy Lamb and a 2014 first round pick… but that was in November. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so how about just the 2014 first rounder? The Thunder get better, the Celtics get worse and add another important pick while Perk also comes off the books a year earlier than Green.
Side-note: This trade would just be so ironic. The Celtics asked for James Harden in this deal at first, but OKC said no. So the deal was agreed upon with Jeff Green so that OKC could pay Harden. Then OKC payed Perk, forcing them to trade Harden to the Rockets. Now OKC needs a replacement for Harden and would be getting Green to fill that bench scoring roll. So since Harden is now gone anyway, couldn't OKC have just given up Harden in the deal since they lost him anyway? I could keep going on this but it will never make sense to me… which is why this swap back will never happen.
Portland Trailblazers: The Blazers have been a fantastic story this season, but adding Green to their depth could make them even better. Portland has two former first round picks that hardly play for them: Myers Leonard ($2.2 million) and Thomas Robinson ($3.5 million). Both are signed for two more seasons beyond this year like Green is, but for their price and potential it would certainly be worth it. Now the deal is about $3 million off, but the trade machine doesn't lie. Bottom line: Portland gets better now giving away players barely in the rotation and no draft picks and Boston adds future assets/potential building blocks while saving money. Who knows, maybe Leonard can develop into the center they need and Robinson is the perfect backup to Leonard and Sullinger…
Now thinking even more outside the box, here are some deals that would move Green, but also require more pieces to seal the deal (and in some cases bring Boston a needed asset):
Utah Jazz: There has been a lot of chatter about a possible Brad Stevens/Gordon Hayward reunion in Boston. Here is one potential way to get there before Hayward becomes a free agent: Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk along with a first round pick for Hayward and Marvin Williams. Utah gets their SF they need as well as a great backup big for the future in Olynyk. They also get even worse this season and would be almost guaranteed a top five pick to use on a SG/SF to perfectly fill out their lineup. Boston gets Hayward and the inside track on resigning him. Marvin Williams balances out the money, but expires after the season, which they need if Hayward is going to be resigned. The first round pick can really be anything except for Boston's 2014 first rounder. That pick is going to be critical to building Boston's future, but the Nets/Hawks 2014 pick would be worth it as well as any of the future Boston firsts with expected improvement now with a Rondo/Hayward/Sullinger/2014 top pick core.
Phoenix Suns: The Suns have surprised us all this season… and they have FOUR first rounders in the upcoming draft. But this trade has nothing to do with those picks. This trade is assuming the Suns are all in on trying to win, while creating a "get out of jail free card" for Danny Ainge. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass along with two second round picks to the Suns for Emeka Okafor. The Suns get two great bench additions for someone that is not even playing, and picks to sweeten the deal. Boston dumps salary for Okafor, who has a $14 million expiring contract. This opens up a ton of room to both resign Avery Bradley and Boston's first round picks, as well as become players in the free agent market right away.
Charlotte Bobcats: Ok so in this scenario we do have one Eastern Conference team. Here's how it shakes down: Jeff Green and Keith Bogans along with the Nets/Hawks 2014 first rounder and the Celtics 2015 first rounder for Al Jefferson. Just Danny Ainge re-aquiring another player here… but this time in a move that sets Boston up nice for the future. The Cats obviously give away their prized possession from the free agent market, but gain first rounders in back to back drafts, which is tough to do because teams are not allowed to trade their own picks in back to back years (Boston is because the 2014 one is not their own pick). They get Green to go with their young core and upcoming draft choices, while Bogans will expire after the season. Boston brings back Big Al and makes him part of their core again, the core now being: Rondo/Sullinger/Jefferson/ 2014 first rounder and maybe even Bradley if they can resign him. That Jefferson/Sullinger low post combo would be brutal for the opposition… yes bringing in a defensive minded big to come off the bench would be required.
Other than the Rockets trade, it is doubtful any of these ideas are even discussed. But hey, they are fun to think about, especially during a rebuilding year. And even though these trade ideas are just fantasies, it is a reality that Jeff Green is likely to be on the move.
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