Danny Green

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Eastern Conference

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. With the playoffs in full swing, we turn our attention to the Eastern Conference:

Marcus Morris, Celtics, 29, SF/PF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $20MM deal in 2015
Unlike his brother Markieff, who played sparingly for the Thunder during their annual first-round flame-out, Marcus remains a valued member of Boston’s rotation. Other than a goose egg in Game 2 against Indiana, Morris has delivered steady production. He’s shooting 49.1% overall and 40.7% from distance while ranking second on the team in rebounds (6.7). He posted a +11.1 net rating on NBA.com’s postseason advanced stats entering Game 3 against Milwaukee. He had 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks on Friday. Morris’ toughness and ability to play both forward positions will make him attractive in the free agent market.

Jimmy Butler, Sixers, 29, SF (Up) — Signed to a five-year, $92.3MM deal in 2017
Butler hurt his reputation by whining his way out of Minnesota. After forcing the Timberwolves’ hand, he got a chance to chase at least a conference title in Philadelphia. Following some ho-hum performances against Brooklyn, Butler has performed like a max-level player against Toronto the last two games. He’s averaged 26.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 7.0 APG and 2.0 SPG in those victories. You can put up with his abrasive style when he produces like that. He remains firmly entrenched as the third-best free agent wing — and perhaps overall player — behind Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.

Sterling Brown, Bucks, 24, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.8MM deal in 2017
Brown’s contract for next season becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster at the beginning of July, when free agency begins. That in itself seems to be a near guarantee. With Malcolm Brogdon sidelined, Brown has received rotation minutes for much of the postseason. His most noteworthy performance came in the series clincher against Detroit when posted nine points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Brown also plays with a little bit of an edge and can get under opponents’ skin. Brown sat in Game 3 of the series with Boston but he’s already done enough to stay on the roster, especially with Brogdon a restricted free agent and Khris Middleton unrestricted.

Danny Green, Raptors, 31, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Green’s contributions to the scoring column are predicated on knocking down threes. A whopping 69% of his field-goal attempts during the regular season came from beyond the arc and he made a career-high 45.5%. It’s been a lot rougher in the postseason. He shot 31.8% from deep in the Orlando series and has made 30.6% in the first three games against Philadelphia. Green should still find a starting job this summer, whether he re-signs with Toronto or a team seeking veteran help. But his lack of versatility will limit the size of those offers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $8.8MM deal in 2015
Rozier has struggled most of the season after his breakout performances in last season’s playoffs, when he averaged 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG while subbing for an injured Kyrie Irving. So why is his stock up? Irving’s commitment to the organization is shaky at best, which makes restricted free agent Rozier a major insurance policy. Rozier would clearly benefit from becoming a starter in Boston or elsewhere. He has averaged 14.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 5.7 APG the last six games in which Irving missed and he played. He rarely turns the ball over, which makes any coach happy.

Ed Davis, Nets, 29, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $4.45MM deal in 2018
Davis consistently stays in a team’s rotation by knowing his role and his limitations. He’s told to rebound and play defense and he does those well. Davis is averaging a career-high 8.5 RPG while playing pretty much the same minutes he logged for Portland the previous three seasons. He sports a strong 1.7 Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating, according to Basketball-Reference. He’ll continue to find work as a second-unit fixture who doesn’t mind letting his teammates do all the scoring.

Mario Hezonja, Knicks, 24, SF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $6.5MM deal in 2018
Hezonja had a second chance to shed the label of ‘bust’ by signing with the rebuilding Knicks after three forgettable seasons with Orlando. Perhaps his label should now read ‘colossal bust.’ Hezonja is destined to go down as one of the worst top-five picks in the last two decades. In 46 games, Hezonja has averaged 7.6 PPG on 39.7% shooting and 3.7 RPG while compiling more turnovers than assists. He hasn’t played since mid-February due to a knee injury or coach’s decision. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Croatian native spends the remainder of his career in Europe.

Boban Marjanovic, 76ers, 30, C (Down) — Signed to a three-year, $21MM deal in 2016
Marjanovic has been sidelined recently by a knee injury. He’s been highly productive and always entertaining when he plays. The 7’3″ center is a throwback to another era when slow-footed giants were more prevalent in the league. Marjanovic is impossible to stop when he gets the ball down low but his lack of mobility make it tough to play him for long stretches. The happy-go-lucky Marjanovic is a fan and locker-room favorite who might get a short-term deal as a third-string backup but it’s doubtful he’ll receive another three-year offer.

Danny Green, Raptors, 31, SG (Up)– Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Green was the ‘other’ starter in the blockbuster Spurs-Raptors trade this offseason. Green isn’t an All-Star talent like Kawhi Leonard or DeMar DeRozan, but he’s a solid NBA starter on one of the top teams in the league. He gained that status in San Antonio and nothing’s changed north of the border. Green has taken two-thirds of his shots from beyond the arc and made 43.3%, his best long-distance average since the 2011/12 season. His Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating has dropped this year but he’s still a plus 1.2. Green’s 3-point shooting alone will guarantee him a nice payday this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raptors Notes: Lin, VanVleet, Kawhi, Green

When the Raptors landed Jeremy Lin on the buyout market last month, it looked like a perfect fit. Toronto had just lost backup point guards Fred VanVleet (to injury) and Delon Wright (in a trade), opening the door for Lin to play a key role off the bench. However, the veteran hasn’t looked comfortable with the Raps so far — entering today, he was a minus-46 in 140 minutes and made 0-of-17 three-point attempts, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca writes.

“We’ve gotta get him more comfortable,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He’s just a little uncomfortable with me, I think, more than anything. I like to let those guys [have freedom]. I say to him, ‘Jeremy, hey, call something. You know, you get the ball in your hands and you look like you don’t know what you want to do out there.’

“I say, ‘You don’t have to look at me, just call this, this or this, pick one.’ He’s got to get a little more comfortable. Even though I’ve tried to shorten it down to three things, he’s so new that he can’t quite come up with one. I need to give him more help. I need to give him more help until he’s more comfortable with that.”

Lin admits that he has more freedom in Toronto than he’s accustomed to, suggesting that he hasn’t had this sort of “empowerment” since he played for Mike D’Antoni in New York, as Lewenberg relays. The 30-year-old welcomes the opportunity to return to that style of play.

“That is kind of how I always played,” Lin said. “I was always more of a free space, free-flowing playmaker. That’s just kind of who I am by nature. That’s my personality. That’s probably what attracted me to this team and obviously vice-versa. We got to just make the pieces fit and [we] will.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • The Raptors’ bench will get some reinforcement when VanVleet returns, and according to Lewenberg (via Twitter), he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery from a thumb injury. Nurse expects VanVleet to return to Toronto’s rotation at some point within the next couple weeks.
  • Appearing on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Michael C. Wright reiterated a point he’s made before, suggesting that he doesn’t believe Kawhi Leonard is interested in heading to the Lakers to play alongside LeBron James this offseason. “I do not,” Wright said, per RealGM.com. “That’s just what I’ve been told. It’s what I’ve been told going back to last summer. I don’t see that as something that’s happening. … I think he goes to the Clippers.”
  • While Leonard’s free agency will be the biggest storyline in Toronto this summer, his longtime teammate Danny Green will also be an unrestricted free agent, and Green’s impact on the Raptors this season shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Green, Rozier, Rose

The Celtics were handed their second loss in a row on Saturday, dropping a 126-116 game to the Bulls at United Center. Boston failed to stop the avalanche caused by Zach LaVine (42 points) and Lauri Markkanen (35 points), bringing their regular-season road record to 14-15.

“It is what it is,” Kyrie Irving said, according to NBC Sports Boston. “Like I said, I don’t get frustrated with this type of stuff anymore. It’s just part of the regular season. In the playoffs where we can plan for a team and prepare for a team, I still don’t see anybody beating us in seven games.”

Irving played his part on Saturday, recording 37 points with 10 assists in 40 minutes of action. But the Celtics were dominated by the Bulls 49-32 on the glass, giving Chicago extra opportunities to score and pull away with an impressive home victory.

“It’s basketball, so we’ve got some figuring out to do,” Irving said, according to NBA.com. “Go back, watch film. Obviously, some effort plays where we really could’ve covered for one another. Just execution on both ends of the floor. Being able to give each other space, make basketball plays, read plays, just play the game at a high level. Obviously, these last two games, we haven’t done that at the level we’ve been capable of. We have to continue to do better.”

Boston holds the fifth-best record in the East at 37-23, currently trailing the No. 1 seed Bucks by 8.5 games. They have 22 more games to position themselves for the postseason.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division today:

  • Raptors guard Danny Green discussed a variety of subjects with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy, including Toronto’s new additions of Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin, the future of Kawhi Leonard, his post-career plans and more. Green is in his first season with the Raptors after spending the last eight years with San Antonio, which included an NBA championship in 2014.
  • The Celtics‘ up-and-down play has generated some internal competition between Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier, who work together to provide some of the most intimidating point guard play in the NBA. “I’ve been saying it since I joined and played with [Irving]…he’s like a big brother that I want everything that he got,” Rozier said, according to Chris Mannix of NBC Sports Boston. “It’s never hating on him or nothing like that, but it’s just I want everything you got. So, I’m going to challenge him every day and he’s going to challenge me.”
  • Former Knicks guard Derrick Rose showed the team he can still play in the Timberwolves’ 115-104 win in Madison Square Garden on Friday. Rose, who’s has a resurgent season with Minnesota, tallied 20 points and three steals off the bench against the Knicks. “It’s great, it’s always great playing here,” Rose said, as relayed by Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “The fans are great here, and I know it felt good just being back in the league and playing the way I normally play, playing with that aggression.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, D. Green, Raptors, Brand

The Celtics have had more ups and downs this season than their primary Eastern Conference competitors, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reiterated over the weekend that he’s not feeling any pressure to shake up his roster by making trades in the next three weeks, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays.

“It just depends,” Ainge said on Saturday. “I don’t feel a need to have to do something. I like every guy on our team. I like our roster. There will be [trade] conversations, obviously. Every year it happens with every team. But we’ll only do something that makes sense.”

A more pressing issue in Boston may be making sure that all the Celtics’ current players are on the same page, after a series of incidents that included a Jaylen Brown/Marcus Morris on-court confrontation, Kyrie Irving expressing frustration with an end-of-game play call and with his young teammates, and Brown publicly firing back at Irving. However, making his weekly appearance on Toucher & Rich today, Ainge said he doesn’t view any of those incidents as worrisome.

“To me, these aren’t stories,” Ainge said, per Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “They’re not a big deal. I mean, yes, Kyrie could have done better. Yes, Jaylen could have done better. But these are people. These are kids. These are guys playing with emotion in a glass house. They’re real people with real emotions; they’re not perfect and I don’t ever expect them to be.

“We live in a real sensitive society now,” Ainge added. “And all these things that we’re talking about: ‘Oh, you mean a veteran player called out the young guys? Oh wait, a young guy stood up for himself?’ I mean, where is the drama? I don’t understand it. Quit being sensitive. That’s the story. That’s my story.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Danny Green‘s free agency decision won’t alter the direction of the Raptors in the same way that Kawhi Leonard‘s will, but Green has been a crucial piece in Toronto this season and is also on an expiring contract. As James Herbert of CBSSports.com writes, Green is enjoying his time with the Raptors and wouldn’t mind staying with the club beyond this season — alongside Leonard. “I hope he sticks around as long as I’m here,” Green said of Kawhi. “And I hope to stick around.”
  • Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is doing some in-person scouting in Lithuania, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that Ujiri watched top prospect Deividas Sirvydis this week (hat tip to Sportando). ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had the Lithuanian forward ranked at No. 31 in his most recent mock draft.
  • In an in-depth profile on new Sixers general manager Elton Brand, Michael Lee of The Athletic looks at Brand’s path from No. 1 pick to an NBA front office, and his first big swing after landing the job — the acquisition of Jimmy Butler.

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: