It seems safe to say that thus far, the trade that brought the one and only Kevin Garnett to Boston hasn't been a regrettable one.
That said, there has remained much speculation about whether or not that will be the case if the Celtics have not won a championship within the next few seasons. Questions have abounded in the forums on this here website as well as quite a few other popular Celts discussion areas as to how sadly the Celtics will one day look back on trading the variety of parts that they moved to Minnesota in August, namely Al Jefferson and Gerald Green.
For his part, Big Al hasn't made anyone in Minnesota forget KG, but he has continued his ascent up the power forward charts, particularly on the offensive end of the floor.
Green, on the other hand, has been a whole different story. This week's edition of the Gerald Green News was only the most recent sign that the Celts and their fans are getting closer to being able to breath easy about Green's departure. As reported by the Boston Globe's Marc Spears:
The agent for the Timberwolves' seldom-used swingman, Gerald Green, an ex-Celtic, hopes to get his client a better playing opportunity in another NBA uniform.
Green's agent, Byron Irvin, told the Globe yesterday that he asked Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale and general manager Jim Stack in early January if they would trade his client.
The quickness with which drastic change can occur is unbelievable.
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It feels like yesterday that Celtics Nation was euphoric over the Pacers' selection of Danny Granger in the 17th slot of the 2005 draft, thus freeing up the Celts to take the then-steal of the draft from Gulf Shores Academy with the 18th pick. Or maybe it was yesterday that Green becoming the next Tracy McGrady was the worst-case scenario.
He had the silky-looking jump shot with the graceful follow-through. He had the explosiveness Tony Allen hasn't gotten back since his knee injury, and even when TA was healthy, Green probably had far greater explosiveness. He had the wingspan and the quickness to become an excellently tenacious defender in this league.
Now, he can barely get off the bench on the league's worst team. He has played in just 22 of the Wolves' first 42 contests, averaging just 11.9 minutes per game. With 4.8 points, 2.2 boards and 1.2 dimes per game, Green's per-minute numbers certainly aren't all that bad. However, he is shooting a putrid 33.9 percent from the field and has an abnormally high turnover rate of 13.8. Despite those per-minute numbers, there are plenty of reasons why Green is sitting on the bench more often than not. Simply put, he hasn't earned himself more minutes.
That is because in year three, Gerald Green still doesn't get it yet. He is an incredible athlete, but he doesn't know what playing good basketball is all about. He can dunk on anybody, but he doesn't know how to pick and choose the spots to take good shots. He has the physical tools to stick anybody on defense, but he can't avoid either being lulled into routinely losing his man or playing so aggressively that he picks up foul after foul, many of the ticky-tack variety.
Two and a half seasons into his NBA career, Gerald Green has made some strides, but he still hasn't really scratched the surface so far as getting a clue is concerned. And now it appears that a second team in three seasons may be ready to give up on him, as the Wolves have declined to pick up his option for next season.
Of course, two and a half seasons does not a career make. There is plenty of time for Green to bloom into the star many once thought -- and some still think -- he could be and for him to make the Celts' brass look foolish for ever dealing him.
But as of now, the career of Gerald Green simply continues to spiral downward.
For a dude with his gifts on the basketball court, it's really too bad.