Jeff Green wants to take elements from other players’ games and use them in his own. Specifically, he plans to study and incorporate some of the traits of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Paul Pierce. (NBA.com)
Me: If you go back to Boston, what do you expect your role to be next season?
JG: That’s up to Doc (Rivers). I know they wanted me to be more aggressive, so that’s what I’ve been doing, is just working on my all-around game. Getting a little Paul Pierce in me. You know, taking a little characteristics from different players. Kobe, being one. Paul. Being with them for a couple of months now. Just a number of guys. LeBron. I’m just working on my game, trying to get better.
I would rather see Green take some of Ray Lewis’s characteristics, but at least he’s trying to improve himself during the offseason. As for whether he will ever become Kobe, Lebron or The Truth, I would bet my next 30,000 paychecks that he won’t (note: that’s a lot of paychecks). Still, improvement is a good thing, especially if Green plans to return to Boston next season. When asked whether he envisions playing for the Celtics next season, Green said, “I mean, when the CBA is all over with, and I can figure which road to go down, that’s when I’ll think about it. But right now, I’m not even thinking about it.”
Hardwood Paroxysm blogger Jovan Buha asserts that Green should spend his time trying to become Lamar Odom rather than trying to mimic superstars. Despite possessing the skills of a First Option, Odom never blossomed into that type of player. But he evolved and matured into a valuable game-changer, a player whose versatility overshadows the lack of a killer instinct, whose quirks and occasional tendency to disappear are now okay because he never has the pressure to carry a team. Green still has a long way to travel before he reaches Odom’s level, but his skills and backseat mentality lend themselves to a similar career path.
Changing gears, I don’t know whether to expect the Celtics to re-sign Green. If they don’t, they admit that The Trade was a mistake and Green wasn’t what they hoped for. If they do, they risk spending long-term money on a player who A) struggled to adapt to Boston’s defensive schemes, B) did not find his groove offensively and has never been an especially efficient player, C) tends to make teams worse by his mere presence on the court, and D) possesses the body of a lion but the mentality of a kitten.
If I were Danny Ainge, I would not re-sign Green — I would rather keep the cap space than risk a significant portion of Boston’s future on a player who underwhelmed last season and has never been efficient or especially helpful. I understand Green’s potential and see his skills. But he has yet to harness those skills into helping his team win games, and that scares me.