The Cleveland Cavaliers addressed a clear area of need by signing swingman Danny Green following the player’s buyout with the Houston Rockets.
But according to Green, the Cavs weren’t the only team interested in acquiring the former champs’ signature. The Los Angeles Lakers had an eye on reuniting Green and LeBron James, who played together during Green’s rookie season in 2009.
But on his podcast Inside the Green Room, Green explained why he opted against joining the Lakers, hinting at his lack of belief in the purple and gold’s playoff chances.
“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. 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.”
In years past, the Lakers would likely have been a pre-eminent destination for any free agent, especially with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in tow.
But between Davis’ poor injury history and the lack of upside outside of LeBron, the Lakers are just 27-32, sitting 13th in the West.
Green’s Four-Word Response to Joining Cavaliers
In Cleveland, Green seemingly has an excellent chance of getting rotation minutes. Although the Lakers might have been flush with middling swingmen, the Cavaliers have struggled to fill that position all season.
And Green, like his former Cavs teammate Kevin Love, wants to contribute to a winning team. He all but confirmed as much in his first tweet after joining Cleveland two weeks ago.
“It’s not done yet….,” Green tweeted, likely a reference to his career.
The Cavs wasted little time giving Green time on the floor. Though he’s still on his way back following an ACL tear last May, Green saw 11 minutes of action against the Sixers last week, going one-for-three from deep.
Green also has a chance to replace the veteran leadership void left by Kevin Love’s departure. Although Donovan Mitchell has significant playoff experience dating back to his time with the Jazz, the rest of the young core — Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen — has almost none to speak of.
In the coming weeks, Cleveland will likely rely on Green’s playoff experience to guide the team. Green, a three-time NBA champ, is no stranger to what it takes to pull off a deep playoff run.
Love Issues First Statement with Heat
Kevin Love, for his part, has officially moved on to the Miami Heat. And after touching down in South Beach Tuesday, Love dropped his first official statement as a member of the organization.
“It’s the third chapter,” Love said in a video posted by the Heat on Twitter. “Being part of the Miami Heat is a special thing, man. All I care about is winning. I’m excited to be a part of this and to know a lot of guys on the team. Obviously, Pat, Andy, Coach Spo, and the entire coaching staff. I’m excited and ready to get on the floor. Heat Nation, I’m excited. I know we get back to work on Friday, so let’s go.”
The Heat will hope Love can provide some depth behind All-Star big man Bam Adebayo.