Former first-round pick Josh Green is “playing great,” according to Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd, who predicted on Monday that Green is headed for a significant payday on his next contract if he continues on his current trajectory.
“The truth is, the kid is really good, and if he continues to keep working, he’s gonna make a lot of money,” Kidd said during his postgame media session (Twitter video link via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News).
When one reporter pointed out that Kidd made similar comments about Jalen Brunson, who ultimately left Dallas in free agency, the head coach said with a laugh that Brunson’s payday with the Knicks was “not my fault,” adding that “hopefully (Green) doesn’t leave.”
“But I didn’t lie to you, (Brunson) got paid,” Kidd said. “Josh is gonna get paid a lot of money, I’m telling you here today. If he continues to work and help with the team, the kid has all the talents to be a superstar. He just has to play. … The more minutes he gets, the better he’s gotten.”
Green, who is earning approximately $3.1MM this season, played sparingly in his first two years in Dallas, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game on .493/.311/.647 shooting in 106 total appearances (14.0 MPG).
The 6’5″ wing has earned a more substantial role this season and is putting up 7.2 PPG on .602/.462/.698 shooting in 20.2 minutes per night. Kidd’s comments on Monday came after Green had 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting in a blowout win over Phoenix.
Because Green is in the third year of his rookie scale contract, he’ll become eligible for a rookie scale extension in July. If he doesn’t sign a new deal during the 2023 offseason, he’d be on track for free agency in the summer of 2024.
The Mavericks will be in a better position to retain Green than they were with Brunson, since they’ll be able to make the 22-year-old a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract. Because Brunson was a second-round pick and signed a four-year contract, he became an unrestricted free agent when that deal expired.
For his part, Green said on Monday that he appreciated the praise from Kidd and that he feels as if he’s made real progress in the past year. As he observed, he spent some time with the Texas Legends in the G League last fall — now he’s a valued member of Dallas’ rotation.
“It means a lot. Anything coming from coach means a lot,” Green said (video Twitter link via Caplan). “Especially putting myself into where I was a year ago. I was down in Frisco a year ago, so being able to hear that, it’s awesome.”