NBA Experience: 6th season
Weight: 227 lbs.
Key stats: Green averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game after being acquired at last year’s trade deadline from Memphis. Green started only two games in the regular season for LA, but was dynamite in the playoffs, starting three of the six games as a small ball center, and averaging 11 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.5 minutes. Green averaged regular season career highs in three-point percentage and free-throw percentage as well.
Contract status: The Clippers kept Green this summer on a new 2-year deal worth $10 million, with the second year being a player option.
Are the highest they’ve ever been for Green in his six NBA seasons. Previously a journeyman, with stints in the G-League and abroad, Green established himself as a reliable inside-out power forward last season in LA. He’s a physical presence who is tough on both ends, loves to mix it up, and is a great rebounder for his size, but can also hit outside shots and can guard multiple positions. Retaining him, for what could be a championship run in LA, was imperative.
Green is just dope. He’s been slept on since being a pro, but he’s finally getting some shine in the NBA’s biggest market, playing the best ball of his career. He’s the prototype for what NBA teams need in this day in age. He’s big, mobile, a hard worker, good teammate, improves every year, fits in with the Clippers’ underdog status (more so last season obviously), shot above 40% from three in LA, can guard centers and bigger forwards and doesn’t take anything from anyone. He has been a perfect fit from the jump and will continue to be moving forward, even more so now that Kawhi and PG are in tow.
What makes Green a good offensive fit for the now star-laden Clippers is his efficiency without the ball in his hands. Green trailed only Danilo Gallinari on the team for best catch and shoot field goal percentage at 42.4% last season. That is great news for a team that will be doing a lot of driving and dishing. Green is a fantastic floor spacer for the likes of Kawhi, PG, and Lou Williams, and his ability to stretch the floor without giving up (too much) inside is a big asset.
Green is also a terror on the offensive boards (finished 11th in the NBA in 2017-18 for offensive rebound percentage), extending possessions and getting extra shots. He does the dirty work on both ends and has maintained his presence inside even while he’s drifted behind the line more in recent years. Green is going to get a lot of open shots, a lot of rebounds and putback dunks, and accumulate a ton of real estate in the heads of opposing teams forwards and bigs. It’s going to be a fun year for the JMyke hive.
Another positive aspect of Green’s presence? He’s a major plus in transition, The Clippers were not a great transition team last season (finishing 17th in overall transition stats), but Green is a willing runner on the break, both diving to the rim or finding a cushion on the perimeter for guards to find him for an open shot. Expect this season to be a different story with regards to the Clips in transition. With perimeter defenders like Kawhi, PG, Trezz, Mo Harkless, McGruder, and Beverley getting their hands in passing lanes and not letting opposing guards breathe, guys like Green will benefit from running on the break for easy points.
Defensively, Green has proven his worth. Because Ivica Zubac was essentially schemed out of the playoffs by a quick Warriors team, Green had to step in at the five and defend multiple players. While KD still did work, the Clips don’t snatch two games off the fully healthy two-time defending champs without Green battling in the post and hitting shots. He is quick enough to defend on the perimeter, long in passing lanes, and strong enough to hold his own against bigger bodies. Sharing the floor with the perimeter defenders the Clips possess, this team will be very scary defensively in small ball formats.
Green truly is one of the more slept on players in the NBA today. Even Zach Lowe of ESPN agrees. He is going to be a difference maker this season and will be a key cog in the Clips championship pursuits this season. He can do pretty much anything Doc and company need him to do on the floor and does it with a lunch pail, blue collar mentality. I can’t wait to watch him this season.