When the Boston Celtics traded for Mike Muscala, they did so by sending Justin Jackson to the Oklahoma City Thunder, thus protecting the open roster spot they created when they traded Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs in early January.
The thinking behind that deal was simple: keep some flexibility for when the buyout market begins to heat up and look for an additional wing should one shake free. Well, as it happens, several wings are projected to become free agents in the coming days. While Terrence Ross is likely headed to the Phoenix Suns and Will Barton is garnering flirtatious looks from the Dallas Mavericks, there still appears to be plenty of value available.
Enter Danny Green, a three-time NBA champion who found himself marginalized on the Memphis Grizzlies this season before being traded to the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team deal. According to a February 12 report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the veteran wing is close to agreeing to a buyout with the Rockets, and the Celtics are expected to register their interest with his camp when that happens.
As Danny Green finalizes a buyout with the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have emerged as frontrunners to sign him as a free agent, sources tell ESPN. Lakers and Suns are involved too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 12, 2023
Green, 35, is the type of veteran wing the Celtics need. Capable of knocking down his three-point looks (he’s shooting 39.9% in his career), impactful without the ball due to his shooting gravity, and able to attack close-outs with a two-step jumper, Green could easily spell minutes for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown throughout the second half of the season.
However, the Celtics aren’t alone in their pursuit of Green, as Wojnarowski reports that the Los Angeles Lakers (who Green won a championship with in 2020) and the Suns are also interested in acquiring his services — which just goes to show how valuable a pickup he could be.
The Celtics do have a slight advantage, though, in that they can offer Green more money with a $3.2 million disabled player exception while also offering the chance to play a legitimate role on a genuine championship contender.
Green has amassed 822 regular-season games and 165 playoff games throughout his career, giving him an invaluable amount of experience, which could be a vital cog in the Celtics’ rotation as they progress into the playoff's deep waters. Especially if Brown or Tatum need to miss a game or get into early foul trouble — having a veteran of Green’s ability and experience is exactly what you need in those moments.
However. the veteran doesn’t come without baggage, as he’s just nine months removed from being diagnosed with a torn ACL, which he sustained last season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Joel Embiid crashes into Danny Green's left leg— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 12, 2022
He was carried into the locker room.pic.twitter.com/ATCFrGbyqL
Unfortunately for Green, that ACL injury was just the culmination of a stop-start season for him, as he dealt with a litany of minor injuries before succumbing to one of the worst ones an NBA player could sustain, especially one at such a late stage in their career.
Green has only participated in there games for the Grizzlies this season, so there are still some significant question marks surrounding his ability to provide consistent minutes in a rotation without any setbacks.
Still, nothing has been agreed upon in terms of a contract and judging by the interest in his services, it would appear most teams are confident his struggles are behind him. So, for now, all we can do is wait and see what team the championship-winning wing picks as the next destination in his impressive career.