Despite what you've heard, this dude is actually worth $36 million
Moments after Jeff Green signed his 4 year, $36 million dollar deal (official terms not released but $36 mill has been widely reported) the yelling started.
“$9 million a year for a bench player! Stupid Danny.”
“How can you pay that much for a guy who averages 13 and 5?”
“Should’ve spent that money elsewhere!”
All of these arguments are wrong, and I’ll tell you why.
1. 4 years, $36 million is just about EXACTLY what Jeff Green is worth on the open market as a 26 year old swingman who can play both the 3 and 4, is above average on defense and puts up 15 points/6 rebounds per 36 minutes. Check out some of the contracts similar players have gotten recently, and tell me Green’s deal doesn’t look damn good in comparison.
Marvin WIlliams: 5 year, $40 million dollar deal. 26 years old, 13.6 pts and 5.6 rebs per 36 minutes. Can play both the 3 and 4, average defensively.
Tyrus Thomas: 5 year, $40 million. 26 years old, 14.1 pts and 8.9 rebs per 36 in his career. Only 10.8/7.1 last season. Too slow to guard most three’s.
Gerald Wallace: 4 years, $40 million. 30 years old, 15.6 pts/7.3 rebs per 36 in his career. Still a good defensive player although no longer elite. Can guard both 3’s and 4’s.
Thaddeus Young: 5 years, $43 million. 24 years old. 16.1 pts and 6.4 boards per 36. Another guy who can guard both positions, but he’s pushed around by bigger 4’s.
I would take Jeff Green, at his age and contract over every single one of those guys, with Young (because of his youth and potential upside) the only one I would even think twice about. All of these guys got more money than Green. Point Danny.
2. Green was one of the only players the C’s could dole out this money too. This is the NBA people, the league where you are basically forced to overpay your own guys because you can’t spend that money on other players. Once the Celtics decided to re-sign KG and Brandon Bass, there was no wiggle room under the cap to sign a player from outside the organization to anything bigger than the mid-level exception. Enter Green and his Bird rights, and this became a no brainer for the Celts. They could afford to overpay a bit, to get a guy they sorely need.
3. Green fits this team like a glove. Let’s be honest the Celtics loaded up this off-season with one thing in mind. Beating the Heat. That’s the team that has ended the Celtics last two playoff runs, and that’s the team that will be standing in their way again this year. The Heat’s best line-up throughout their title run last year was Chalmers-Wade-Battier-Lebron-Bosh. Small, quick, dominant. The C’s desperately need versatile defensive players that can run with that team. Green can. Rondo-Bradley-Pierce-Green-KG is a great defensive line-up to throw out there. I’m giddy already thinking about this team matching up with Miami again in the playoffs.
The bottom line is that the Celtics had a limited number of players they could spend their money on this off-season, and Jeff Green was the guy to spend it on. Bitch about the price tag all you want, but once the real games start everyone will see that every penny was well spent.