By all accounts, Jeff Green’s recent heart surgery was successful. Green will miss the entire 2011-12 season, but he is expected to play next year.
While Green is an unrestricted free agent, he isn’t exactly entering the market on a high note. But NBA.com’s David Aldridge reports one team has interest.
The Wizards, according to sources, have long coveted Green, who played locally at Georgetown and who would provide some desperately needed maturity and young experience next season for one of the league’s most callow teams. Assuming the Wizards use their amnesty provision next summer to free themselves from the final season of Rashard Lewis’s contract — $22.69 million — they’d be in prime position to give Green a big payday, assuming everything checks out post-operation. And if the Nets, say, lose out in the Dwight Howard-Deron Williams sweepstakes, they’ll have a lot of flexibility, too.
I’m not sure what Aldridge means by “big payday.” Are we talking a 5-year, $50 million deal? Green was going to earn $9 million this year before the heart ailment was discovered. And don’t underestimate the ability of the Wizards to overpay.
Aldridge says the Celtics are high on Green’s list:
“It’s a place he’s going to give very strong consideration regardless of his status,” said Falk, Green’s agent, on Friday.
The Celtics were proactive in helping Green find the source of his problems after his physical with the team in early December revealed a problem. Boston provided a number of specialists for Green, who recommended he undergo surgery.
“I thought they handled it really first class,” Falk said. “They helped us with the doctors. They were terrific. He’s going to go back to Boston and rehab. He was very appreciative. It’s not like he’d been there for a while.”
With the salaries of Kevin Garnett ($21 million), Ray Allen ($10 million) and Jermaine O’Neal ($6.5 million) coming off the books next year, the Celtics will have a ton of money to throw around. I just hope Danny Ainge doesn’t overpay Jeff Green.