Javonte Green’s basketball odyssey took him all over the globe, but it never landed him on an NBA roster until now.
Green was informed Saturday after practice by Danny Ainge that he beat out Max Strus, Kaiser Gates and Yante Maten to win the battle for the Celtics 15th and final roster spot, setting off a whirlwind of emotions for Green.
“It’s been a tough journey. Started where I started from to get here ... it’s a dream come true. The feeling was amazing,” Green said. “All tears of joy since Saturday, but it still hasn’t hit me yet. When it hits me, I’ll get back with y’all.”
Javonte Green on making the Celtics’ 15-man roster: “It’s a dream come true.” pic.twitter.com/2lCVRW18pP— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) October 21, 2019
A 6-foot-5, 220-pound shooting guard, the 26-year-old Green out of Radford, where he was the Big South Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season in 2015, bounced around European basketball leagues after college.
Green received an invite to play on the C’s Summer League team a few months ago, and that’s where his potential blossomed. Green’s chances of making the C’s roster grew with his play over the course of training camp and the team’s four preseason games.
To open up the exhibition slate, Green knocked down all seven of the shots he attempted to score 15 points while also grabbing four rebounds. For the preseason, Green connected on 16-of-20 shots to average 6.5 points per game.
Green’s sheer athleticism and defensive makeup is what makes him standout and made Ainge compare Green to a Celtic that contributed in the C’s last championship run.
“I guess he gets flashbacks to Tony Allen when he sees me, so I guess that’s a good thing,” Green said.
The final roster spot that Green took control of came down to him and Strus, who showed some potential as a 3-point shooter in the preseason and it made it tough on the coaching staff — a good problem to have — when it made its final selection.
“That was as hard of a decision as I think we’ve had,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
Just when you thought the battle for the 15th roster spot was over, here comes coach Jerome Allen.......... pic.twitter.com/cO7rlCUErT— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) October 21, 2019
According to the CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith, Green has a $100,000 guarantee in his contract and the C’s can waive the rights to Green up until 19 days into the season and just owe him the guaranteed money.
For Green, he isn’t satisfied yet, though, and doesn’t see this as the end point to his arduous journey, but more as the start of a new chapter.
“This is just the beginning,” Green said.