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Just The Sports: Boston Celtics Trade Recap: Forward Jeff Green Is Not Much Of A Difference Maker

Just The Sports

Friday, February 25, 2011

Boston Celtics Trade Recap: Forward Jeff Green Is Not Much Of A Difference Maker

In the last year of his rookie contract before being owed a qualifying offer of $5.9 million, Jeff Green needed to have a breakout season to convince the Oklahoma City Thunder to include him as a part of their long-term plans. He was unable to do so and the Thunder shipped him to the Boston Celtics, giving the Celtics a player who is not as good as they might think he is.

While Green averaged 15.2 points per game, third on the Thunder, he was not their third most valuable contributor this season. Actually, Green's 0.083 win shares per 48 minutes ranked him eight on the roster among players who have played a significant amount of time for the Thunder this season and last among players who have played at least 1,000 minutes this season.

If Green were to contribute the same amount of win shares per 48 minutes for the Celtics as he did for the Thunder, he would only be above four Celtic players, Luke Harangody, Jermaine O'Neal, Nate Robinson, and Avery Bradley, in that category. Since Harangody and Robinson are no longer with the team, he would only really be more valuable than O'Neal and Robinson without a major turnaround in his production.

This season also marked the third time in Green's four seasons where his offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) was higher than his defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). Green produced 108 points per 100 possessions and allowed 110 points per 100 possessions in 49 games.

Even last season, which was Green's best of his career due to the fact he produced 106 points per 100 possessions while allowing only 105 points per 100 possessions, he was still not as valuable to the Thunder as his 15.1 points per game, third on the team, might suggest. Last year, his 0.105 win shares per 48 minutes tied him for sixth on the roster among players who had received significant and regular playing time.

There has never been a season in his career where Green, despite consistently being one of his team's top scorers, has been more valuable than his sixth place ranking last season due to his disappointing overall play.

Any help Green provides for the Celtics on offense will most likely be undermined by his lack of a defensive presence as his career offensive rating of 103 points produced per 100 possessions and defensive rating of 109 points allowed per 100 possessions indicates.

The Celtics will have to hope that Green is the type of player whose defense fluctuates based on the team's overall defense on which he plays. Last year, which was the only season Green played for a team with an above-average defensive rating was also his best defensive year. Every other year when he played for a below-average defensive team, his defense was also sub-par.

When it comes to Green's value, it is unlikely that adding him will make the Celtics significantly better on both sides of the ball since even in his best season he only produced one more point per 100 possessions than he allowed.

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