All right everyone: slow down.
I know what you’re thinking. You saw the title of this article, you slapped yourself in the forehead and said, “Of course the Celtics should trade Jeff Green! It’s not even a question!” and rushed in here to vote for the answer that every sane fan of the Boston Celtics will invariably select.
Hey – I don’t blame you. If I saw this question, my first instinct would be the exact same thing. Jeff Green is one of those players who angers just about every fan of the team for which he plays, because he’s super athletic but streaky as hell, just as likely to shoot 2-15 for 8 points as he is to go 11-18 for 36. Green has played in the NBA too long to fool anyone into thinking he’ll ever be more than a third option on offense – second on a really, really good night – so why not ship this perennial under-achiever out of town in exchange for a first-round draft pick or a more reliable second scoring option?
Ah – but it’s not as simple as that. First of all, every team needs a third or fourth option on offense. The entire reason that Green became a movable piece during his stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder is because of his ability to put up 15-16 points a game as a compliment to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He may not have been able to carry the Celtics while Rajon Rondo was injured, but we all knew he wasn’t that type of player, so we can’t necessarily hold it over his head. Should the Celtics become playoff contenders in the next year or two, Green’s ability to drop 15 a night as the third or fourth option will pose problems for opposing defenses.
Besides – how much is Jeff Green worth on the trade market? I understand the Celtics want to acquire young players or draft picks, but Green is not going to land them a first round pick, nor is he going to be enough to bring in a potential All-Star. If Boston can figure out a way to package Green and someone like Gerald Wallace, they will still be lucky to snag some second round picks and a complimentary player . . . which is exactly the type of player Green is to begin with.
So, I leave it to you: should the Celtics try to deal Jeff Green before the trade deadline, or should they hold on to him in the hopes he can play an important role once Boston is playoff-ready?