Did Danny Ainge still do the right thing in voiding his contract?
Heart conditions can be tricky, and the Celtics organization already has to live with the ignominious reality that Reggie Lewis died of a heart condition back in the early 90s as a Celtic. Losing an All Star to a heart ailment can set a franchise back in more ways than one, and Ainge wanted to avoid repeating a “Sweet Lew Part Two.”
So Green is to test the free agent waters. Make no mistake, a team will roll the dice on Green. He’s still in his prime and has room for growth as a player. The Celtics could have used that. But would it have been worth it to risk keeping Green on the payroll and re-signing him, knowing his career could be over?
Those are the kind of risks teams sometimes have to take, but Ainge didn’t feel it was in the Celtics best interest. The implication of course is that Kendrick Perkins was traded for absolutely nothing, but Ainge lost that trade from Day One anyway, and even Kevin Garnett denounced the trade publicly, throwing Ainge under the bus, and making it known that Perkins was as instrumental to the Celtics ‘D’ as he himself were. He ended up being right. Trading Semih Erden to Cleveland in exchange for a bag of peanuts did little to help, but at least he ridded themselves of Luke Harangody in that move, and Harangody will forever stand as someone that somehow made a roster, while guys like Patrick Ewing, Jr. do not. The NBA doesn’t always make sense.
What does make sense, however, is making a run at re-signing Green. He would feel wanted, but would he get over the sting of having his contract voided? Could he recover and eventually make an All Star team?
These are things we don’t know yet, but what we do know is that Jeff Green underwent a successful heart surgery and is about to return to the NBA fully healthy.