Danny Green

Danny Green Talks Spurs, Raptors, Free Agency

When the Raptors and Spurs made their blockbuster trade last July, discussion and analysis of that deal focused on the big pieces: Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan. However, Danny Green, who was sent from San Antonio to Toronto in the swap, has proven this season that he wasn’t just included in that trade as a throw-in.

In his first 38 games with the Raptors, Green has averaged 9.5 PPG on .438/.408/.933 shooting and has been a key part of many of the club’s most productive lineups. For the season, Green has a total plus-minus of +374, which leads the NBA by a huge margin — teammate Kyle Lowry is second at +283.

In advance of his first game in San Antonio as a Raptor on Thursday night, Green spoke to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca about how he found out about being traded, his experiences playing with Kawhi, and his 2019 free agent decision, among other topics. Here are a few of the highlights from that discussion:

On his time with the Spurs:

“It was the organization that groomed me. It’s kind of where I grew up in this league, became professional and learned how to be one… spending so many years with Timmy, Tony, Manu and Pop, of course, I learned how to win, how to be successful and played in some very fun games, battles, big stages, so it was a blessing all around. It was a great part of my career, great stage and it helped me get to where I am today and hopefully I can carry that on to wherever it is I’m at.”

On how he felt about being traded to the Raptors:

“I’m a positive person. I look at things in a positive light, that’s human nature, or my nature anyway. I already knew how [the Raptors] played… the more I watched and the more I studied I thought: ‘You know what? This could be a really good fit.’ And the fact I was going with [Leonard] helped even more.”

On his 2019 free agency:

“Obviously we don’t know what’s going to happen after this year. I would love to still be here [with the Raptors], obviously, but we don’t know. We don’t know where [Leonard’s] going to be, we don’t know a lot of things [that] are going to happen. In terms of decision making, [Leonard’s future] affects everybody.

“… If [Leonard] stays, they might want to bring everybody back; if he leaves, they might want to change, who knows? We’re both grown, we can make our own decisions for our own families. We might sit down and talk about it to see what page he’s on and how he feels about something and how I feel, but at this point we’re not thinking about that or talking about it. We’re trying to play good basketball… and get everybody healthy and winning games. Hopefully at the end of the year we can celebrate some things, outside of free agency.”

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Atlantic Division:

Terry Rozier, Celtics, 24, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $8.8MM deal in 2015
Rozier showed he could be effective starter filling in for Kyrie Irving during the playoffs. With Irving back in the lineup, Rozier has been forced into a second-unit role again. He has expressed a desire to be a starter in the future and that’s not going to happen if Irving re-signs with Boston. Rozier’s stats aren’t that far off from last regular season but it’s been difficult for the restricted free agent, who is currently ranked No. 18 in our Free Agent Power Rankings, to enhance his value while playing 22 MPG.

DeMarre Carroll, Nets, 32, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $58MM deal in 2015
Carroll’s offensive numbers have been unsightly since he returned from an injury in early November. He’s shooting 34.4% from the field and 30.8% from long range. He’s also been a defensive liability, according to Basketball Reference, which gives him a minus 1.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating. Carroll cashed in at an opportune time the last time he was a free agent. He’s going to find the offers much more modest next summer, given his age and declining production.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks, 22, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $14MM deal in 2015
The way first-year head coach David Fizdale has been tinkering with his lineup and rotation, it’s hard for anyone on the roster to feel comfortable. The point guard situation has remained a muddle, with Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke taking turns as the main guy and sitting in the doghouse. Mudiay had a 28-point performance against Milwaukee earlier this month but the Knicks have been outscored by 46 points over the last three games with the restricted free agent on the court. His grasp on a starting spot seems tenuous at best.

Mike Muscala, Sixers, 27, PF (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2017
Muscala has reinvented himself as a stretch four and he’s become a valued member of Philadelphia’s rotation. He’s averaging 10.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 2.2 APG over the past six games. He had an 18-point outing to help the Sixers erase a 15-point deficit in Detroit last week. If Muscala can keep this up for one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, he’ll be in line for a nice payday next summer and might even find a suitor that views him as a starter.

Danny Green, Raptors, 31, SG (Up)– Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Kawhi Leonard isn’t the only former Spur making a major impact north of the border. Green seems rejuvenated as well. His shooting numbers declined during his last three seasons in San Antonio but with Toronto he’s posting his best averages since the 2012/13 season. He’s shooting 44.2% overall and 42.1% from deep. His defensive metrics have remained well above average. Green should be able to score one more multi-year contract, whether he re-signs with Toronto and gets a starting job elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Butler, Nets

The Raptors have been the best team in the NBA so far this season, in no small part due to the offseason additions of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. As Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes, one of the key qualities that both veterans bring to the table is their play down the stretch of a close game, as evident in the duel against Kevin Durant and the Warriors last week.

As Bontemps points out, both Green and Leonard have been on the floor for the most intense moments of the NBA Finals and both players are battle-tested as they look to lead the Raptors to the promised land this season.

The Raptors still have to iron out some late-game kinks in order to close out tough games (especially come playoff time), but at least this season they will have two players that can thrive in such moments on the floor. There aren’t many other teams that can claim that, especially in the Eastern Conference.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

  • Since joining the 76ers, Jimmy Butler is averaging the fewest minutes per game since his sophomore season and the fewest shot attempts since his third year in the league. However, as Keith Pompey points out for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Butler is focused on winning and leading the 76ers, especially in crunch time moments, which he has done several times this season.
  • After an injury derailed Caris LeVert‘s promising season, the Nets have struggled to bounce back as they have lost six straight games in a variety of ways. Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes about the team’s struggles since losing their leading guard.
  • Given those aforementioned struggles for the Nets and the fact that they actually own their first round draft pick this year, could it possibly be time for the team to tank? At least one writer from NetsDaily isn’t afraid to ask the tough question.

Raptors Notes: Green, Miles, Kawhi, Lowry

Two Raptors sharpshooters in possible contract years are having two very different seasons so far, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca in a look at Danny Green and C.J. Miles.

Green, earning $10MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019 and is playing as well as he has in years, averaging 9.6 PPG, shooting a team-best 43.0% from the beyond the arc, and providing strong perimeter defense. He’ll be 32 years old when he hits the open market next July, but he’s positioning himself well for at least one more nice payday.

On the other end of the spectrum, Miles has struggled mightily so far in 2018/19 — his 5.5 PPG would be his worst mark since the 2007/08 season, and his .288 3PT% is substantially below his career mark. Miles figures to bounce back at some point, but he looks like a virtual lock to exercise his $8.73MM player option for 2019/20 rather than opting for free agency.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • It looks like a no-brainer in hindsight, but the Raptors took a big gamble when they traded for Kawhi Leonard in the offseason, and so far that gamble is paying off in a big way, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com. “It’s a great trade for Toronto, even if [Leonard] leaves,” one league executive said. “I just never saw them going any further than they had with DeMar [DeRozan].”
  • Speaking of Leonard, he has a new multiyear endorsement deal in place with New Balance, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The former NBA Finals MVP passed on an extension with Jordan Brand earlier this year.
  • In a conversation with Michael Lee of The Athletic, Kyle Lowry explained why he’s no longer upset about the Raptors’ decision to trade his best friend DeRozan, and talked about adjusting to playing alongside an MVP-caliber player like Leonard. “Me, how I am, I want to make sure he’s comfortable,” Lowry said of Kawhi. “He’s the most talented player that we have. He’s our best player. He’s got a ring. Why not? Danny’s been great, too. Nothing is ever awkward because this is a small brotherhood. We all respect what we do.”

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Fizdale, Nets, Green

Sixers guard Markelle Fultz will look to establish himself as the team’s third star this season, with the 20-year-old coming off a campaign that saw him play just 14 games.

Fultz, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, spent a considerable amount of time working on his jumpshot and overall game this offseason with trainer Drew Hanlen. The former Washington prospect believes he can fill the Sixers’ need for a third star throughout the upcoming season.

“I kind of like when people doubt me and say ‘Look for another star,’ “ Fultz said, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I see myself as that player. I just work every day to become better.

“I really don’t look at other people’s goals [for him], but I definitely look at it to see myself as that next player that can step up in that role.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Notes: Knox, Noah, Irving, Green

First-round pick Kevin Knox put on a show for Knicks fans at today’s scrimmage, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Knox has gotten past the tentativeness he had when camp opened, with Berman estimating he hit seven of 14 shots this afternoon and went three for six from 3-point range.

Coach David Fizdale has emphasized to Knox that he needs to be aggressive on offense.

“He did exactly what I want,’’ Fizdale said. “He’s a natural scorer. He’s unselfish to a fault at times, but today was indication what I’ve been prodding him to do every day. That ball hits your hands, you’re live.’’

The day wasn’t as promising for center Mitchell Robinson, a second-round pick whom the Knicks are hoping can provide bench help in the middle. Robinson looked overmatched against Enes Kanter, and Berman suggested he might start the season in the G League to get used to the pro game.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Joakim Noah remains on the Knicks‘ roster as he continues to negotiate a buyout, Berman adds in the same story. Fizdale wouldn’t comment on the proceedings, but the amount of money Noah is willing to give back remains an issue. Berman adds that Noah expressed his frustration today when he posted, then quickly deleted, an Instagram message that read, “Let me go!!! What r u waiting for!!!! U don’t want me there so let me go!!!”
  • Kyrie Irving made headlines this week with comments indicating that he plans to stay in Boston beyond this season, but they were nothing new to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, relays Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Irving, who is expected to opt out of his current deal next summer, has expressed similar sentiments to his boss before. “I’ve talked to Kyrie a lot,” Ainge said. “Maybe he’s changed his tune with you [media], but he has been very positive from the day he got here. I talk to Kyrie all the time, his representation. I think Kyrie is very happy here in Boston, always has been. That will hopefully make this a place he wants to stay much longer once the season ends.”
  • Danny Green may be an overlooked part of the Kawhi Leonard trade, but he brings valuable championship experience to a Raptors team that needs it, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Green, who won a title with the Spurs in 2014, has played in more than 100 playoff games and has shot better than 41% on 3-pointers in the postseason.

Atlantic Rumors: Green, LeVert, Marks, Williams

Danny Green believes Kawhi Leonard will have a tough time leaving the city of Toronto once he settles in during his first season with the Raptors, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays. Green, who was included in the blockbuster deal that sent Leonard to Toronto, made the comment during an Inside the Green Room Podcast. “The city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there. I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing. … I’m getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.” Leonard can opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

In other developments around the Atlantic Division:

  • LeVert played a total of 30 games at the point last season when D’Angelo Russell was injured, Milholen notes, and posted averages of 13.2 PPG and 4.8 APG in 27.2 MPG. Russell will start for Brooklyn and the Nets also have free agent addition Shabazz Napier at that spot. LeVert can also be viewed as a long-term insurance policy since Russell could become a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension, Milholen adds.
  • The early returns on Sean Marks‘ first-round picks bode well for next June’s draft, Jason Max Rose of NetsDaily.com opines. The Nets GM found two valuable assets during the last two drafts in LeVert and starting center Jarrett Allen, even though those picks were in the bottom third of the first round, Rose notes. Thus, Marks and his staff have shown they can not only identify talent but develop players as well, Rose adds. The Nets could have two first-rounders in June, their own pick plus the Nuggets’ top-12 protected pick acquired this summer.
  • Dominating at the G League level would make for a successful rookie season for Celtics first-rounder Robert Williams, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. That’s where Williams will spend a good portion of the season, Blakely notes, and the big man must prove the left knee injury he’s dealing with won’t be a major issue. Williams also needs to show more maturity off the court, Blakely adds.

Atlantic Notes: Musa, Dudley, Knicks, Bird

Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa has been bulking up since the draft in hopes of being physically prepared for the NBA, relays NetsDaily. In a weekend interview with with Radiosarajevo in Bosnia, Musa said he has been focused on “physical progress” and has gained 15 pounds this summer.

“As far as my physical predisposition is concerned, no one has to worry,” he said. “I have put on seven kilograms in a 25-day period, so I do not have to have any disadvantages by the start of the season, and I will try to give my team immediate input.”

The 29th overall selection has spent most of the summer at the Nets’ training facility, but recently returned home to Bosnia to participate in a pair of FIBA World Cup qualifying games.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Trade restrictions on the NetsJared Dudley will expire September 20, according to a separate story on NetsDaily outlining important upcoming dates for the team. That date will mark the two-month anniversary of the trade that sent Dudley from Phoenix to Brooklyn, and it will lift the restriction that he can only be dealt in one-for-one trades.
  • The Knicks picked up a pair of promising young players on one-year deals while preserving their cap space for next summer, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders in the season preview for New York. The Knicks signed Mario Hezonja for $6.5MM and Noah Vonleh for a non-guaranteed $1.6MM, giving them a year to see how much they can contribute before making long-term decisions. Blancarte also believes David Fizdale was the right choice to take over as coach.
  • Jabari Bird is under guarded watch at a Boston-area hospital following his arrest Friday on a “domestic incident,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Bird is expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow and will be officially charged for his role in the incident.
  • The Raptors have scheduled a press conference for September 21 to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Both were acquired from the Spurs in a mid-July trade.

Eastern Notes: Leonard, Galloway, Johnson, Ntilikina

Hiring Kawhi Leonard‘s close friend Jeremy Castleberry away from the Spurs as a player development coach was a wise move by the Raptors, in the view of Danny Green, as Steven Loung of SportsNet Canada details.

Green was traded along with Leonard to Toronto and the Raptors are hoping to convince Leonard to re-sign with them next summer. The addition of Castleberry should help the cause, according to Green

“It’s good to have (Castleberry) on board. Hopefully, it helps Kawhi feel more comfortable at home and keeps him in the city that they want to keep him here,” Green said. “Obviously (the Raptors) traded for him for a reason. They think they can sell him. … It’s an amazing city in Toronto. So the city sells itself. … And now you have your best friend with you. What else could you ask for?”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Langston Galloway was a major disappointment in his first season with the Pistons and he’ll have a tough time making the rotation, Ansar Khan of MLive writes. Galloway didn’t fare well when he played the point on occasion and posted career lows in several categories while mostly seeing action at shooting guard, Khan continues. Galloway, who has two years left on his $21MM contract, has plenty of competition at the guard spots in the upcoming season, Khan adds.
  • Pistons small forward Stanley Johnson could blossom in coach Dwane Casey’s first season, Khan writes in another post. Casey has praised Johnson’s work ethic and feels that Johnson has untapped scoring potential, Khan continues. Johnson became more aggressive going to the basket last season but needs to improve his outside shooting, Khan adds.
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (France) and Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (Finland) will not play for their national teams in FIBA World Cup qualifiers next month, according to a Sportando report. Both players will focus on preparing for their second season in the NBA, the report adds.

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Dudley, Green, Celtics

After playing for four teams in eight seasons, newly signed Nets forward Ed Davis feels like he has found a place where he’s wanted, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn was quick to pounce on Davis, offering a one-year, $4.4MM deal minutes after free agency opened.

“The main thing is they definitely came out aggressive when July 1 hit. I definitely wanted to go to where I was wanted, so that had a lot to do with it,” Davis said. “Then, I talked to Allen [Crabbe] and Jeremy [Lin] about the coaching staff and how the organization was run, and it was nothing but great things. Then, this team has potential, definitely. We can try to make this push into the playoffs this year. It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s one of the reasons why I’m here.”

Davis topped all NBA reserves in rebounding last season with 575, but the Trail Blazers decided he was expendable. Portland executive Neil Olshey told reporters he was on the phone when Davis when he received the Nets’ offer and advised him to accept it.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran shooter Jared Dudley, who met the media today following a trade that sent him from the Suns to the Nets, almost came to Brooklyn two years ago, writes Tom Dowd of NBA.com. Dudley said he considered the franchise because of the style of offense that coach Kenny Atkinson runs. “That’s one of my strong suits here in the NBA with reading defenses, moving side-to-side, going to pick-and-rolls,” Dudley explained. “I just think it’s kind of a perfect match.”
  • He may be considered a throw-in from the Kawhi Leonard trade, but Danny Green is exactly the type of player the Raptors need, according to Steven Loung of SportsNet. Green will solve some of the team’s spacing issues with his 3-point accuracy, and he’s an excellent defender to match up against opposing wing players.
  • The Celtics were able to save some money by trading Abdel Nader to the Thunder instead of waiving him, Bobby Marks notes on ESPN Now. The move saves Boston about $675K in tax penalties and another $450K in salary. Getting rid of Nader leaves the Celtics with 14 guaranteed contracts and a tax bill of $3.8MM if they waive Rodney Purvis, whose $1,378,242 salary doesn’t become guaranteed until January 10.