Danny Green

Atlantic Notes: Green, Sixers, Kyrie, Raptors

Veteran stars like Kawhi Leonard and Jamal Murray, who suffered ACL tears in the spring of 2021, didn’t play at all in 2021/22, but Danny Green, who tore his ACL in the Sixers‘ second-round series vs. Miami last week, is optimistic that he won’t have to sit out for all of next season.

“I will be back for All-Star break. You got to believe it. You heard it here first,” Green said on his Inside the Green Room podcast, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I will work my tail off to rehab to get back healthy. My body and my bones usually heal pretty well. I don’t have any bad habits. So, yeah, I think I’ll be back in time to help a team in the playoff run and show and prove that I’m able to still play at that level to help a team get a win in the playoffs.”

Green is technically under contract with the Sixers for 2022/23, but his $10MM salary is non-guaranteed. He acknowledged that the team could certainly waive or trade him since he won’t be ready to play at the start of the season.

“That’s part of the business,” he said. “… We haven’t spoken yet.”

Here are a few more notes from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers, whose roster lacks depth and features a number of incomplete players, are in a worse spot now than they were in 2019 when they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Toronto, Pompey writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In Pompey’s view, the team could use a traditional point guard and multiple “versatile and gritty” wings and forwards, but probably lacks the flexibility or the assets to address all of its needs.
  • The Nets have yet to engage in any contract talks with Kyrie Irving, who holds a $36.9MM player option for 2022/23, general manager Sean Marks said in an interview with YES Network (link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post). “It wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know,” Marks said. “We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do (happen), we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic considers which 2022 free agents would be good fits for the Raptors and might be attainable for mid-level or bi-annual money, identifying veterans like Bobby Portis, Malik Monk, and Pat Connaughton as possible targets.
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, Koreen fielded mailbag questions on the Raptors‘ offseason, addressing a number of topics, including whether the team would have interest in restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton. Koreen thinks the Raptors could inquire but that they don’t consider it a top priority to acquire a traditional center and wouldn’t want to give up the assets necessary to sign-and-trade for Ayton.

Danny Green Diagnosed With Torn Left ACL, LCL

Sixers wing Danny Green has been diagnosed with a torn left ACL, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team has confirmed Charania’s report, adding that Green also sustained a torn LCL in his left knee.

Green injured his knee during Philadelphia’s season-ending Game 6 loss to Miami on Thursday night and there was said to be “significant concern” that the injury was a major one. He underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.

Speaking this afternoon to reporters, including Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Green acknowledged he expected there to be ligament damage but expressed optimism that the major ligaments in his knee would be intact. Unfortunately, it seems that’s not the case.

An ACL tear typically sidelines an NBA player for the better part of a calendar year, if not longer, so Green’s availability for the 2022/23 season is presumably in jeopardy.

To make matters worse, the veteran swingman will turn 35 years old next month — rehabbing such an injury and getting back to full health and effectiveness at his age could be a far greater challenge than it would be for a player 10 or 15 years younger.

A three-time NBA champion with the Spurs, Raptors, and Lakers, Green was one of the Sixers’ most reliable outside shooters in 2021/22, averaging 5.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .394/.380/.786 shooting in 62 games (21.8 MPG). He’s a career 39.9% shooter from beyond the arc.

Green signed a two-year, $20MM contract with Philadelphia last offseason, but only the first year was guaranteed. He now appears almost certain to be waived this summer, allowing the 76ers to clear his $10MM salary from their ’22/23 cap.

Sixers Notes: Harden, Rivers, Green, Butler, Offseason

It has become clear over the course of the season – and especially in the playoffs – that the current version of James Harden isn’t the same one who earned the MVP award in 2018 with the Rockets, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, who suggests that recurring hamstring issues over the last couple years have slowed down the Sixers guard.

“Since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden,” Sixers star Joel Embiid said on Thursday, after the team lost Game 6 to the Heat and was eliminated from the postseason. “But that’s not who he is anymore. He’s more of a play-maker.”

While it’s true that Harden is still an elite play-maker, he’s being paid like he’s also an elite scorer, with a $44.3MM salary this season and a $47.4MM player option for 2022/23.

There’s a belief in some league circles that Harden isn’t fully healthy and has bounce-back potential, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. However, according to Bontemps, the soon-to-be 33-year-old is viewed by many executives as more of a $25-30MM per year player than a superstar who should warrant a five-year, $270MM commitment this offseason.

During an ESPN appearance (video link), Amar’e Stoudemire, who saw Harden up close as a member of the Nets’ coaching staff this season, questioned the guard’s conditioning and advised the Sixers against offering a maximum-salary contract.

Harden, who will be eligible for a contract extension if he picks up his player option or a new free agent contract if he turns it down, suggested after Thursday’s loss that he would be open to taking less than his max, and an Eastern Conference scout who spoke to Bontemps said the 76ers would be wise to go that route.

“If there were any logic whatsoever, the answer (to giving him a max deal) would be no,” the scout said.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Asked after Thursday’s loss about his job security, head coach Doc Rivers defended his track record, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).I don’t worry about my job,” Rivers said. “I think I do a terrific job. If you don’t, then you should write it. I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, the same thing.”
  • After leaving Game 6 due to a left knee injury, Sixers swingman Danny Green will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the damage, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. There’s “significant concern” that Green’s injury is a serious one, as ESPN’s Tim Bontemps relays.
    [UPDATE: Danny Green Diagnosed With Torn Left ACL, LCL]
  • Having eliminated the 76ers from the postseason, former Sixer Jimmy Butler rubbed salt in the wound, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic, who notes that the Heat forward said in his postgame interview he wishes he were still playing with Embiid. On his way to the locker room after the game, Butler also referenced the 2019 offseason, when Philadelphia invested heavily in Tobias Harris as Butler departed for Miami. “Tobias Harris over me?!” Butler yelled, as captured by Miami’s WPLG Local 10 Sports (video link).
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) and Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype both preview the Sixers’ upcoming offseason, examining some of the biggest questions facing the franchise in the coming weeks and months.

Sixers Notes: Rivers, Thybulle, Green, Jordan, Bassey

Should the Sixers suffer an early playoff exit, there has been speculation that coach Doc Rivers might be on the hot seat, and with Frank Vogel expected to be fired after the season, Rivers has surfaced as a name to watch for the Lakers‘ head coaching job.

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com explores the topic of whether Rivers makes sense as a candidate in Los Angeles — assuming he’d even be interested in the job. Neubeck states that Rivers deserves credit for publicly embracing the team’s championship aspirations, but it could lead to him being the fall guy if the Sixers fail to make a significant postseason run.

Here’s more on Philadelphia:

  • A league source tells Neubeck that there’s no indication that Matisse Thybulle has changed his stance about getting vaccinated. Toronto won Friday night, clinching at least the No. 5 seed in the East. As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes (via Twitter), the Bucks will either be the No.2 or the No. 3 seed after Friday’s victory, and the Sixers can finish no better than third, because Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker. Point being, the odds have increased that the Sixers could face the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Rivers was vague in his response to Thybulle being ineligible to play in Toronto, per Gina Minzell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “It’s one game tonight. We’ll go from there,” Rivers said before Thursday’s meeting. When asked how it might impact the team in the postseason, Rivers said, “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes.” Philly lost to Toronto this week in Thybulle’s absence.
  • Veteran Danny Green says he’s not happy about the situation with Thybulle, but it wasn’t clear from his wording whether he’s displeased about the rule that unvaccinated foreign nationals can’t enter Canada, or with Thybulle himself.  I’m not happy about it. It is an opportunity for myself and other guys to get more minutes on the road with James [Harden] and other rotations, but I think we’re a better team when we’re whole and we have everybody,” Green said. He added that it was tough to evaluate the team when it isn’t whole. “Most guys, I don’t want to say [are] disappointed, but. … it’s still a point in the season when we’re still trying to gauge who we are, where we are. The only way to do that is to have everybody together. It’s tough to do that when we don’t have everybody” (Twitter thread courtesy of Mizell).
  • DeAndre Jordan has been positive locker room presence for the Sixers, Mizell writes in a story for The Inquirer. Jordan has served as the team’s primary backup center after being waived by the Lakers.
  • Rookie Charles Bassey suffered a right shoulder sprain and missed his game with the team’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, per Derek Bodner of The Daily Six (Twitter link). Bassey will be reevaluated in about 10 days. The 21-year-old hasn’t played much at the NBA level, appearing in 23 games with an average of 7.3 minutes per contest, but he’s been productive when given opportunities.

New York Notes: Dragic, Brown, Porter Jr., Randle

Nets guard Goran Dragic has entered the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team tweets. Dragic has been a rotation piece since signing with the Nets as a free agent, averaging 7.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 25.5 MPG through 16 games.

Bruce Brown has a non-COVID illness and will also miss Saturday’s contest against the Hawks.

We have more on the New York teams:

Injury Notes: Leonard, George, Bulls, D. Green, Reddish

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard took part in a “rigorous” pregame workout that lasted well over an hour on Tuesday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said during TNT’s broadcast (video link via Justin Russo). According to Haynes, it looked like Leonard had “zero limitations” during that workout, but head coach Tyronn Lue said the two-time Finals MVP still hasn’t been cleared for contact, as Mirjam Swanson of The Southern California News Group relays.

Although Kawhi is clearly making progress, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski stated on Wednesday’s episode of NBA Today that a return this season is “more realistic” for teammate Paul George than for Leonard (video link). The Clippers haven’t ruled out the possibility of Leonard playing this spring, but Woj notes that it’s still been less than eight months since he underwent ACL surgery, which would be a very quick turnaround even if his recovery is ahead of schedule.

The Clippers are in position to make the play-in tournament and could extend their season by earning one of the West’s final two playoff spots, but the team may not be comfortable bringing back Leonard in the postseason without any regular season reps.

“I spoke to Coach Lue,” Haynes said on TNT last night. “And he told me that if he can’t get his guys back for games in the regular season, then it wouldn’t be safe for them to return in the playoffs.”

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • The Bulls have cleared Alex Caruso (wrist) for full contact and Patrick Williams (wrist) for “minimal” contact, per head coach Billy Donovan. As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, there’s still no set timeline for either player to return to action. However, if Caruso is able to fully participate in the team’s next practice on Friday, he could be on track to play soon.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said today that swingman Danny Green will “most likely” miss Thursday’s game vs. Brooklyn due to a finger laceration, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). Due to the risk of his stitches reopening, Green may end up being sidelined for a week or more, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com.
  • The Knicks have three games left on their current road trip, but forward Cam Reddish has returned to New York in order to have his injured right shoulder reevaluated, head coach Tom Thibodeau said today (Twitter link via Fred Katz of The Athletic). The injury, which Reddish sustained on Monday, is being called a sprain for now.

Nets Notes: Dragic, Durant, Simmons, D. Green

Goran Dragic didn’t intend to sit out most of the season, but he said there was no defined role for him with the Raptors, according to a Sportsnet.ca story. Dragic, who chose the Nets after receiving interest from several teams following his buyout with the Spurs, spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since signing with Brooklyn.

“It’s been a unique situation this year for me, unfortunately couldn’t get along in Toronto, they said they wanted to go young, they didn’t see me to be a part of that team,” Dragic said. “We talked and they said we’re going to trade you, we agreed I go home to be with my family until everything got resolved.”

The Raptors acquired Dragic in the offseason trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, but he was never in their long-term plans. He played just five games before taking a leave of absence in November. The Nets will play in Toronto next week, and Dragic is looking forward to returning to the city.

“(I have) no hard feelings towards them, wish them all the best … we play against them twice in next couple of weeks so should be interesting,” he said.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Nets players were heavily involved in recruiting Dragic once his buyout became official, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and others sent text messages to Dragic urging him to join them in Brooklyn. Dragic said the Nets were among six contenders that tried to sign him.
  • Although Dragic has been training during his absence, coach Steve Nash doesn’t plan to use him in tonight’s game against the Celtics, according to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic (Twitter link). Nash said Dragic needs to practice with the team a few times, but he doesn’t expect his debut to be far off. Nash added that he expects Durant to be ready before Simmons, but there are no definite dates for either to begin playing again.
  • Simmons’ first game back in Philadelphia is scheduled for March 10, but Sixers guard Danny Green doesn’t expect to see him on the court, writes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. On his “Inside the Green Room” podcast, Green said Andre Drummond and Seth Curry, who were also traded to Brooklyn, “weren’t on the most cordial terms” with Simmons when they were all together in Philadelphia. Green added that his reaction to Simmons will be determined by his actions if he does play March 10.I understand you have a mental health issue, I understand you don’t want to play where you want to — whatever it is, you did what you needed to do to make better for you in your life. That’s cool,” Green said. “Do I think you could have handled it better? For sure, because we had nothing against you as teammates, still have nothing against you. But it all depends on how that game goes, how he interacts in that game, how well he plays or how cleanly or non-cleanly he or us plays against each other, is going to determine how we shake hands.”

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Sixers, Knicks, Durant, Simmons

Five-time Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid admitted that he considered quitting basketball entirely during his rookie year, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid was drafted by the Sixers in 2014 with the third pick out of Kansas, but didn’t suit up for Philadelphia until the 2016/17 season. Surgeries for a navicular bone in his right foot delayed Embiid’s NBA debut for two years while he grieved the death of a family member off the court.

“You look back at my first year after the surgery,” Embiid said. “Obviously, I lost my brother at that time, too. Going back to Cameroon, I really wanted to stop playing basketball and really retire because at that point you just had surgery, and everybody is talking about ‘You’re not going to make it’ or ‘You’re never going to play in the league,’ and, obviously, the loss of my brother was big. I wanted to give up. I almost did. It was hard.”

The 28-year-old has since become one of the most dominant centers in the NBA, and is currently building a convincing MVP case with a terrific and mostly healthy season thus far. He is averaging 29.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 4.5 APG through 46 games this season. Embiid boasts shooting splits of .495/.369/.813.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • While the identities of four Sixers starters are fairly clear heading into the home stretch of the 2021/22 NBA season, the team has several options for the fifth starting role, per Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice. With James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and Embiid entrenched in the club’s starting lineup. Neubeck considers whether they’d be best complemented by the defensive attributes of Matisse Thybulle, the corner three-point shooting of Danny Green or Furkan Korkmaz, or the size advantage of Georges Niang.
  • With a 25-34 record, the Knicks face an uphill battle to even make the play-in tournament this season. Fred Katz of The Athletic wonders at what point second-year New York head coach Tom Thibodeau, whose job may be in jeopardy this summer, may opt to prioritize developing the team’s youth over less-than-meaningful victories. Katz also theorizes about the potential markets awaiting 2022 unrestricted free agent center Mitchell Robinson, and forward Cam Reddish, whom the Knicks could either opt to extend this summer or allow to reach restricted free agency next year.
  • Nets team president Sean Marks expects stars Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons to join the team on the hardwood fairly soon, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post“Depending when they go, we’ve got to see how they respond to days like [Tuesday], and we’ll go forward with this,” Marks said. “It’s probably going to be tough, to be honest, to be playing in the next three or four days. But we’ll see how it all plays out.”

COVID-19 Updates: Sixers, Celtics, Rondo, Blazers, More

Sixers wing Danny Green cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Jaden Springer and Matisse Thybulle are both in the protocols now, joining two-way player Myles Powell.

In the latest injury report for the Sixers’ Monday game vs. Houston, Powell and Springer are both listed as out, while Thybulle is considered questionable. That suggests that the team is likely waiting for the results of Thybulle’s latest COVID-19 test before determining whether or not he’ll be available.

Here are more protocol-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Dennis Schröder and Bruno Fernando returned to action for the Celtics on Sunday after a stint in the health and safety protocols. Jayson Tatum has exited the protocols, but remained sidelined for Sunday’s game — he’s expected to return on Wednesday, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • On the LakersSunday injury report, Rajon Rondo was listed as out due to return to competition reconditioning. Rondo had been in the COVID-19 protocols since December 26, which presumably delayed the official completion of the trade sending him to Cleveland. Now that he has cleared the protocols, the Cavaliers and Lakers should soon officially announce that deal.
  • Robert Covington, Trendon Watford, and Keljin Blevins are no longer in the health and safety protocols for the Trail Blazers, per the injury report.
  • Knicks center Jericho Sims remained out of action on Sunday, but he was listed on the injury report as taking part in return to competition conditioning, so he has exited the protocols.
  • McKinley Wright (Timberwolves), Jarrett Culver (Grizzlies), and Jay Scrubb (Clippers) are among the other players who have recently cleared the COVID-19 protocols, according to the league’s injury report.
  • Our full health and safety protocols tracker can be found right here.

Pistons’ Cunningham, Sixers’ Green Enter Protocols

The list of players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols continues to grow. Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and Sixers wing Danny Green are the two latest players to enter the protocols, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Word broke earlier this afternoon that Detroit had lined up a hardship deal with Cheick Diallo, which suggested that a Piston was about to enter the health and safety protocols. Unfortunately, it’s the No. 1 overall pick, who had been hitting his stride lately after a slow start to his rookie season.

Despite a couple clunkers this week vs. Miami and New York, Cunningham has averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 5.7 APG on .447/.441/.826 shooting in his last 10 games (33.9 MPG). Now, he’ll be sidelined at least 10 days, unless he can register two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart before then.

While Cunningham is the first Piston to enter the health and safety protocols this week, Green has some company in Philadelphia — Andre Drummond, Shake Milton, and Georges Niang are also in the protocols. The Sixers have already signed one replacement player – Tyler Johnson – and are eligible to add more if they so choose.

By our count, there are now 96 NBA players in the league’s health and safety protocols, though that number is constantly fluctuating.