With all their big moves done, the Clippers secured the services of JaMychal Green for the 2019-2020 season on their room exception. Technically, they signed him for 2 years, $9.8 million, but his second year is a player option, and it seems likely he will decline it. Green arrived in LA at the trade deadline (along with Garrett Temple) in exchange for Avery Bradley. Green immediately entered Doc Rivers’ rotation, and was a key piece the rest of the season. He even started the last three games of the Clippers’ playoff series against the Warriors, and his entrance changed the dynamics of the series, making it far more competitive. His return has been widely praised as a strong move, but what does the Clips Nation staff think?
Sabreena Merchant: A+
This might be overkill, but it would be hard to overstate just how much I enjoyed watching JaMychal Green on the Clippers last season. He was the perfect complement to Montrezl Harrell off the bench as a big who could play on the perimeter on offense, and also had the requisite size and speed to guard 4s and 5s on defense. He seamlessly slotted in next to the Lou-Trez pick-and-roll, and thanked his good fortune for the wide open shots that created for him. Green was a natural fit in the locker room as well, his low-key demeanor once again being the perfect fit, with his locker even directly located between Lou and Trez. He was everything the Clippers hoped Mike Scott would be and more down the stretch.
But, during the playoffs, Green really showed off his worth. He was able to play as a small-ball five and even defended Kevin Durant for stretches. At times in Staples Center, he was the best player on the floor for the Clippers. (This is not an overstatement if you go back and watch games 3 and 4, not that you’d really want to.) To get that player for the room exception is a steal. Even if Green doesn’t replicate his highs from last season, the value he should provide on this contract is tremendous. It’s also a sign that players want to join the Clippers, even if it comes at a monetary sacrifice.
Chris Murch: A
How in the hell did the Clippers convince the Memphis Grizzlies to give not one, but two starting level players for 14 games of Avery Bradley? Jerry West and co. are absolute GAWDS. Anyway, I love everything about JaMychal Green. I love this picture of him (https://twitter.com/Jmyke1/status/1061682711444754432/photo/1). I love his aggressiveness. I love his inside-out game. I love his ability to guard 2-5. I love how he can give the Clippers 10 and 5 on 40% three point shooting any given night. And I love how he’s taking less money to be in L.A. He’s going to be a big part of this team next season, and retaining him was big.
Shapan Debnath: A+
JaMychal Green ended up being a critical signing for this team after the George/Leonard signings, and he was had for an absolute bargain. Green will likely be working for a nice payday next summer, but bringing him back, particularly with the market out there had we not retained him, was huge. Green seems like he might be a starter on opening day and perhaps going forward, and he has shown his importance to this team with his ability to spread the floor, rebound, and play defense. On a squad without many true centers outside of Ivica Zubac, Green’s ability to play the stretch 5 is massive, and his minutes for a contender is likely a selling point that brought his return. He can also play power forward while shifting George and Leonard to less cumbersome minutes defending SG and SF. I love the signing and I’m looking forward to see how we mix and match with Green as a pivotal big.
Max Jeffrey: A
When the LA Clippers managed to land JaMychal Green and unload Avery Bradley in a single trade with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, I was elated. While I thought Green would be a nice rotation player for the Clippers, at the time, I admittedly had far more excitement about being rid of Avery Bradley. What I didn’t know was just how perfectly Green would fit in with the Clippers’ roster.
Though he had a briefly rough start integrating into the rotation last season, Green ended up averaging 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc (on 3.3 attempts) per night in his 24 regular season games with the Clippers. Whenever he took the floor, he provided instant two-way depth while flexing minutes between forward and center. Where he shined the most, however, was during the six-game postseason stretch against the fully-healthy Golden State Warriors. In the playoffs, Green averaged 11 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 53.5% from the field and 52.2% (!) from beyond the arc (on 3.8 attempts) in just 23.5 minutes per game. Ultimately, Green played best when it mattered the most, and against the highest level of competition.
This offseason, the Clippers managed to retain the services of Green on a bargain 2-year/$10 million contract. Expect to see him split his minutes between forward and center again. And expect to see him start games some nights while coming off the bench for others, especially with Paul George slated to miss the first several weeks of the season. Green remains one of the great under-the-radar impact players in the NBA, and will undoubtedly be a very important part of this championship-contending Clippers roster.
Robert Flom: A+
On a pure value basis, this is the best signing of the summer outside of Kawhi Leonard. Bringing back JaMychal - who was one of the Clippers’ most effective weapons against the Warriors, and played a huge role in their surge down the stretch of the regular season - at $5 million a year is a steal. No two ways about it. If anything, it would have been great if they could have got him for longer than one year (he has a player option on year 2 that he will probably decline if he plays as well as he did last year), but for a team that’s trying to win a championship this season, Green is a perfect role player. He defends both big man positions, hits threes, makes quick decisions offensively, and possesses the grinding spirit that drove the Clippers to success last season. He’s worth a lot more than what he got, and is an ideal fit with the Clippers, especially as a floor spacer and defender alongside Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. He might start at some points of the season too, and getting a solid starter for that cheap, especially someone like Green, who is in his prime and has proven himself in the playoffs, well, that’s borderline criminal.