Indiana Pacers swingman Gerald Green has some unique basketball talents that can lift fans out of their seats and fill up Top 10 highlight lists on SportsCenter. Only problem is, when it comes to winning time, doing the little things that lead to winning and defending with a vengeance, Green comes up a step slow.
In a vacuum, Green's jumper is a thing of beauty. The fade away jumper (with an emphasis on jumper)? Not guardable. If only those shots went in more frequently at game time. There's a valid reason former Pacers beat writer Mike Wells calls Green, Chuck 'Em.
The Pacers took a 3-year, $10 million gamble on those crazy, physical talents of Green's last Summer but by the end of the season, Green found himself out of the playing rotation. For a team on the door step of the NBA Finals, Green simply wasn't ready to play a role.
With cap space tight around the Fieldhouse, the Pacers would be wise to try to move Green and the $3.5 million per year remaining on the final two years of his contract.
Yeah, right, you say? What team would want to deal for Green now?
Well, the market to move Green this year, either around the draft or after, could not be better. Let me introduce you to Andrew Wiggins. The Kansas freshman is the consensus top pick in the 2014 NBA draft, holding a franchise-altering value no player carries into Thursday's NBA draft.
So any franchise understanding they aren't competing for a championship next year should be willing to begin a "soft tank" to put themselves in lottery position to land Wiggins.
Is there a better player in the NBA than Gerald Green to simultaneously entertain a fan base while also making sure the team doesn't win their way out of Wiggins territory in the draft lottery? Quick answer: NO!
So it makes sense to hear rumors that the Sacramento Kings may want to move Jimmer Fredette to the Pacers in a deal including Green. The Kings took a risk on the talent of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins without the infrastructure to support and develop the two young talents into actual pros. Wiggins? Game changer that can erase all past mistakes.
Other teams like the Orlando Magic or Phoenix Suns, to name a couple, may also want to engage in the passive offseason tank job. Gathering a LeBron James, Kevin Durant-type of talent in the draft that can change a franchise from day one is worth whatever it takes to get him. The draft lottery has proven to be no sure thing for the worst teams in the league, but you gotta be in it to win it.
With the jackpot of Andrew Wiggins next year, teams will be playing the odds all year. That may mean playing Gerald Green, as well.