Ever since the Boston Celtics waived the white flag on this season by trading away Rajon Rondo, it seemed only a matter of time before they would start unloading some of their other veterans. Jeff Green became a popular choice to be on the move and those rumors finally seem to be coming to fruition.
Sources have told Yahoo! Sports that the Celtics are finalizing a trade that would send Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for the expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince and a future first-round draft pick. Details have yet to be announced, as the teams appear to be awaiting the involvement of a third team to help facilitate the trade. It's expected that the first-round pick Boston will receive will include some sort of protections and likely won't be sent until at least 2018 due to Memphis already owing another protected pick to the Denver Nuggets and a league rule that prevents trading first-round picks in consecutive years.
Boston and Memphis awaiting the final nod from a third team in deal to have an agreement on Jeff Green trade, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2015
While four years seems like a long time to wait for a draft pick, it could end up working out in Boston's favor in the long run. Who knows what state the Grizzlies will be in by 2018, given their veteran roster could be ready for a rebuild by then.
For Memphis, that's a risk worth taking given that they are in win-now mode with the potential to be the top team in a loaded Western Conference. While Green has had his issues with inconsistency as Boston's leading man, he should fit in well as a valuable role player on a Grizzlies roster that won't ask him to do too much. He's a versatile forward that can score and provide a solid upgrade over Prince at the wing.
#Celtics roster a bit less crowded now, allowing remaining players to settle into steady roles. Opens playing time for James Young— Sean Penney (@spenney83) January 9, 2015
Green has a $9.2 million player option for next season that he seems likely to decline to test free agency, which means it's likely Boston would have lost him after the season. Moving him now allows them to pick up an extra draft pick to add to their impressive treasure trove of assets and clears the way for the Celtics to give additional playing time to their core of young players.
James Young figures to benefit from Green's absence, so anything that leads to his further development can be counted as something for Celtics fans to get excited about as the team continues to build toward the future.