The Detroit Pistons have prioritized signing a starting small forward in free agency. With that in mind, Detroit Bad Boys will preview a number of possible candidates the Pistons could target with free agency set to begin at midnight Wednesday. First up was DeMarre Carroll. Next -- Danny Green.
The San Antonio Spurs are my second favorite NBA team. Class acts. Do not follow a model. Find diamonds in the rough. And they have a head coach that is so blunt and awesome, I'm envious.
Coach Pop is a savage lmaooo pic.twitter.com/P26j4HXxHU— Myles (@305HeatLifer) June 30, 2015
But there's something to be said about players who have played in Greg Popovich's system: they are efficient. Now, some of that might be due to how Pop plays them. Some of it may have to do with their team chemistry. Maybe that is why Detroit has interest in San Antonio's leading three point shooter Danny Green to fill in at starting small forward.
Why he Fits
The man can shoot! Point blank. In 20 minuscule games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his rookie season, Green was not good. Only 5.8 minutes per game and a 27.3-percent three point percentage, only 66.7-percent from the line, and 38.5-percent overall. However, since joining San Antonio, he's been shooting very well.
In the five years he has been with San Antonio, Green has averaged 42.3-percent from distance on 4.8 attempts per game. He only averaged eight shots a game over five years. His free throw shooting improved up to 83.2-percent also. Stan Van Gundy values players who can hit the deep ball, and Green is just that guy. We also need all the free throw shooting we can get.
Green is not a great defender, but he does not slack on defense. The effort is definitely there. Also, he's very quick to get out in transition for open baskets, which Stan Van Gundy wants to do more of.
Also, Green is a six year veteran who could be looking at his last/first big contract (unless his shooting holds). He just turned 28 years old and has some years left in his tank. Ideally, he only needs to be the starter for two years at tops until Johnson is hopefully ready to take over. At that time, Green becomes a very ideal trade chip or continues to provide veteran leadership and sharing minutes with Johnson.
Why he Doesn't Fit
Is he a shooting guard or a small forward? If the Pistons were to go after him, it will be to fill the starting small forward position. However, he's listed and has primarily played shooting guard. Height isn't a problem, as he's just as tall as Stanley Johnson. But he's only 210 pounds. Even Johnson weighs more than that at 242 pounds. Will he be able to guard against the small forwards in the league if they're posting him up? He has quick hands, but is that enough?
Though his defensive effort is there, and he was third on the Spurs in defensive win shares, that was against mostly shooting guards. Will his body hold against small forwards for a season? Will he become exhausted quickly? Will his offensive efficiency outweigh his defensive liabilities? Will his offensive contributions be negatively affected by the extra exertion given on the defensive end?
Green shot the most shots per game in his career last season at 9.1. More than 60-percent of those were from outside. Ideally, as was evidenced in Johnson's presser, Van Gundy wants a small forward who can create his shot as well as one who is good at creating for others. This way the offense does not have to rely solely on Reggie Jackson, Brandon Jennings or Spencer Dinwiddie to be the primary ball handlers -- mix up the offense a bit. Less than 17-percent of his shots came at the rim and 68-percent of his makes there were assisted. That likely means other teams won't have to worry about him beating them off the dribble and can stay tight on him if they can keep up with him.
You can also see that his assist numbers are rather low. Only two assists per game last year and only 1.5 for his career. And though he is a good free throw shooter, he very rarely shoots free throws. Last year was a career year in free throw trips (and makes), but that was only 1.6 trips per game. It would be better for our small forward to draw fouls.
It could very well be due to what I highlighted above that this tweet was sent out today:
Danny Green remains maybe the most divisive free agent among team execs. Lots of teams debating whether he's "worth" 8 figures/year.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 30, 2015
GMs may be debating this not only for his possible fit issues, but also due to the rising cap. Granted, $10 million or more won't look like a lot in a couple of years. If teams are looking at him as a shooting guard, he will (somehow) sit behind Dwyane Wade on the shooting guard list. If teams see him as a small forward, people will need to consider his size.
If the Pistons were to extend him an offer, I could see it in the range of 3 years/$39 million or 4 years/$50 million range. I would like to think the final years in those contracts would be team options depending on how Johnson is coming along, but Green may have earned himself player options on most teams.
There are also a lot of people wondering who is going to take short-term deals. This is one of those situations where it might be ideal for the player as well as the team. Hoping that Johnson is ready, signing Green to a 2-year/$26 million deal with the second year being a player option might help both parties out.
So DBB, do you want Danny Green? What length and size of contract would you give him? How well do you think he fits? Let us know in the comments.