He was the centerpiece of "the trade". He was the supposed best player in the deal… the guy that made it OK to part with Perk, risk team chemistry, and rely on the O'Neals to get us through at center.
Except Jeff Green's arrival in Boston was anything but that. His inability to play solidly at the 3 and make up for the loss of Marquis Daniels turned the trade into a bust. Fairly or unfairly, Jeff Green's short tenure so far in Boston has been mediocre at best… and probably closer to terrible.
The thing is… he's not that bad. Maybe its his mental make up that made it difficult for him to assimilate quickly. Maybe he was deferring too much, trying to be something he's not, and just plain getting lost in the sea of superstar veterans… all of whom have a "way" of doing things.
This is isn't OKC. This isn't the happy-go-lucky little town with a new team and a bunch players so young that you feel like you're back in a college locker room. Boston, the city, is a bit bigger, a lot more bitter, and even more demanding. We don't just appreciate having a team around here. We've had a team since day one. This city has gotten a taste of championship parades recently… and dammit… we like it.
Boston, the team, has strong personalities everywhere you turn. KG, Paul, Ray, Rondo… they're all, let's say, pretty damn confident in themselves. Doc Rivers is a direct, tell-it-like-it-is coach. And the banners… well… the banners stare at you in the practice facility and at the Garden… constantly reminding you that a few people have worn that uniform before you. And they've done pretty well. Each of those 17 flags might as well have a magnifying glass on them… because that's where you play when you're in a Celtics uniform: Under the magnifying glass. Everything is bigger.. your successes, your failures, your every word.
Throw a 24-year-old kid in the middle of this cauldron, sprinkle in the hours of talk radio and thousands of words written about how Danny blew it with the trade, and it's not hard to see how the kid didn't exactly flourish. But that's all done. The question is… what do we do now?
Do we make the $5.9 million qualifying offer… sit back and see if the market spits out a palatable price to give this kid another shot? Or do we just cut our losses, let him walks, and chalk it up as a loss? Will a training camp… time to bond with his teammates and chance to accept his role be helpful enough to turn him around? Or is he a kid who needs starter minutes to get into enough of a groove to perform well.
He's not going to be a starter on this team next year if everyone comes back. But he will be asked to be a huge contributor off the bench… especially if Glen Davis leaves.
So.. it's a tough call. What DO we do with Jeff Green?