Gerald Green is under contract with the Nets for the remainder of 2011/12, having signed a rest-of-season deal after inking a pair of 10-day contracts with the team. Before the Nets picked up Green though, the Lakers were closely tracking him, GM Mitch Kupchak told Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. However, the team didn't feel like there was room on its roster for the 26-year-old swingman.
"If you look at him as a small forward, he would have been our fifth small forward behind Metta [World Peace], at the time Luke [Walton], Matt Barnes and Devin Ebanks," Kupchak said. "So, as painful as it was to watch a kid really grow and you get to know a kid, there was just no way to bring him on the team and have him sit and justify it."
Green was playing for the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, prior to being called up by the Nets, making it especially tough for the Lakers to miss out on him. In 20 games for New Jersey, Green has averaged 11.6 points with a .494 FG% in 23.3 minutes per contest. When the two sides negotiated Green's deal, they decided not to extend it through next season, though the former first-round pick has talked about returning to the Nets next year. The Lakers figure to keep an eye on the situation this summer, and haven't ruled out making a play for Green.
"I’m happy for the kid," Kupchak said. "I hope he plays well for the rest of the year and based on how things play out, we’ll take it from there."