The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of just two teams in the NBA to sit out the trade deadline, joining the Chicago Bulls in watching the fanfare from the sidelines.
But the Cavs made additions to the roster in the weeks to follow. After receiving a buyout from the Houston Rockets, Cleveland signed three-time champ Danny Green to pad the team’s depth at the swing spot.
But since his arrival, Green hasn’t received much playing time in the wine and gold. He’s averaging 9.3 points per game with Cleveland this season, a far cry from the 20+ he received with the Philadelphia 76ers last season. As Tommy Wild of si.com explained, Green hasn’t yet “found a clear spot” with the Cavaliers.
What’s more, Green could be a perfect pairing with point guard Darius Garland.
“Green on the floor with Garland could be a fantastic duo,” Wild noted. “This is because DG averages the seventh most assists per game with 7.9 and Danny’s ability to run the floor and move without the ball. This is a lineup I would love to see!”
In fairness, Green did suffer a torn ACL less than one year ago. The Cavs may well be easing Green back into playing shape, keeping him healthy for what the team likely hopes to be a deep playoff run.
Green Chose Cavs for Playing Time Opportunity
Green had no shortage of interest after his buyout. That includes the Los Angeles Lakers.
On his podcast Inside the Green Room, Green explained why he opted against joining the Lakers, explaining he didn’t feel he’d get an opportunity to play given Los Angeles’ trade deadline moves for wing depth.
“I don’t think they had the opportunity or the same opportunity with all the wings they brought in and all the people they brought in,” Green said. “I don’t think they were able to say you’ll be in a good opportunity to be on the floor and that we’re for sure going to make the playoffs.
Green also hinted at his lack of belief in the purple and gold’s playoff chances, suggesting things in SoCal are “urgent.”
“So it was very up in the air and it’s a very urgent time for them. They have to win now and they have a lot of pressure doing that in a short amount of time.”
Green Can Provide Veteran Leadership
But even if he’s not on the floor, Green provides something the Cavaliers lack: playoff experience.
As such, his presence in the locker room can’t be understated. That’s doubly true after Kevin Love‘s surprising buyout. Prior to departing for the Miami Heat, Love was touted for his own standing in the Cavs’ locker room.
By all accounts, Green is bringing the wisdom of his career to Cleveland, already forecasting for the team what it can expect come playoff time.
“Hostile environments. Every play, every possession is going to be intense,” Green explained.
Green is telling the team to step up to the plate and embrace the moment.
“You’ve got to embrace it, lose yourself in the moment, lose yourself in the game,” Green explained. “At the same time, be on your P’s and Q’s, execute the best you can and doing your job. Not letting yourself down, your teammates down. We’re going to expect the most out of each other. Just making sure that everybody can embrace the moment and be ready for a hostile environment.”