The San Antonio Spurs have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. One of them regards re-signing Danny Green, who will be entertaining offers from a number of teams, but most likely end up with the Spurs, Dallas Mavericks or New York Knicks.
Is Green a player who thrived in a certain system and is doomed to fail outside of it? Perhaps. He didn’t do very well anywhere else. But there are certain talents and qualities that are impossible to ignore. Green is a fantastic perimeter defender who at the shooting guard position has a huge size advantage over most players, while having no problem defending small forwards as well, both in terms of putting his body on them and using his long hands to generate steals.
Offensively Green has come a long way under Popovich. He’s not just a very good shooter who has no problem hitting big shots on big occasions (42% 3-point shooter for his career, 42.9% in the postseason). He makes smart decisions, knows how to move the ball and has worked very hard on becoming a lot more than just someone who makes open shots.
It’s hard to think of a team that can’t make good use of him, but Green has his own prefernces as well. Staying in San Antonio is one of them, but it won’t be for the $4 million he was making. Green is going to want double that and maybe more. He’s not going to ask for what Kawhi Leonard is going to be asking and players on the Spurs tend to take less than their market value, but not everyone is Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The decision of Ginobili to retire or not is going to be a big factor in Green staying or not, or at least in how flexible the Spurs can be in offering him big money.
Outside of the Spurs, the Mavericks seem like an excellent fit. He would work well in the offense Rick Carlisle is hoping to see, but more importantly, he’ll give them something they haven’t had for a long time. A shooting guard who doesn’t need the ball in his hands most of the time, an excellent defender and finally not someone who is undersized at the position.
After Jason Terry, O.J. Mayo and Monta Ellis, having someone like Green will be a welcomed change. He might score a lot less than Ellis (averaged 11.7 points per game last season), but it’s not all about that. It’ll give the Mavericks a much needed defensive stopper on the wing and give Chandler Parsons, an excellent playmaker, a chance to have the ball in his hands a lot more.
As for the Knicks… Money isn’t the issue, and they might be able to offer more than anyone. Green is from North Babylon, New York. He played high school for St. Mary’s in Manhasset. He played college basketball for North Carolina. Moving back to New York is certainly an option for him, but for someone who has gotten so used to winning and playing for big things over the last few years, moving to New York means losing a lot of games for a while, which is obviously a factor in his upcoming decision. Helping the Knicks out? Every player who isn’t a borderline D-Leaguer is an improvement right now for the Knicks. Yes, they’re that bad.