Amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers joined the Chicago Bulls as the only NBA franchises that didn’t pull off any moves. Despite the flurry of links to various wings, the Cavs ultimately stood pat, choosing against selling on Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, or Kevin Love.
Rather than dish out more trade capital, the Cavaliers waited until the buyout market materialized. And in truth, they might have gotten one of the very best players on the market in Danny Green.
After the signing, Cavs superstar Donovan Mitchell sent some love Green’s way on social media, tagging him in a tweet that included a video from Green’s first stint in Lake Erie.
“Welcome back @DGreen_14,” Mitchell tweeted, along with two crying laughing emojis.
Green returns to the Cavaliers 13 years after Cleveland drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft. Since then, Green has won championships with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.
The Cavaliers will be hoping Green brings a veteran presence to a locker room high on elite talent but low on experience.
Green Drops Cryptic Message Ahead of Return
On Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cavaliers planned to sign Green, beating out the Boston Celtics, another team with rumored interest in Green.
Once Woj confirmed the signing, Green issued a four-word tweet that should get Cavs fans’ hearts pumping.
“It’s not done yet,” Green tweeted.
Last May, Green tore his ACL, forcing a lengthy recovery process. The Cavaliers are taking a big bet that Green can still be the standout shooter he was for the Philadelphia 76ers over the last two seasons before getting shipped to the Grizzlies at last season’s trade deadline.
Nonetheless, Green shot 39.5% from three with Philly on strong volume (5.4 attempts per game), making him the deep-ball threat the Cavs have lacked at the wing spot this season.
Altman Defends Quiet Trade Deadline for Cavs
By landing Green, the Cavs seemingly side-stepped potential rotation problems after not upgrading the roster at the deadline.
Perhaps knowing the team could land Green, GM Koby Altman defended the Cavs’ quiet approach.
“Just from a trade standpoint, we just didn’t feel like anything was going to really move the needle for us,” Altman said in a press conference Thursday, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “I think you guys know me well enough to know I scoured the market and talked to every team I could.”
Another factor likely hindering Cleveland’s trade deadline plans: assets. After unloading a bevy of picks to the Utah Jazz to land Mitchell this summer, Cleveland was light on draft capital and would have likely been forced to move Isaac Okoro for any appreciable upgrade.
Okoro, for his part, is just three years removed from a top-five draft selection. Though maddeningly inconsistent at times, Okoro has put together a nice run recently. Over his last nine games, the former Auburn Tiger is shooting 40.7% from three with a net rating of plus-13.2.
The Cavaliers face their next big test against the Green’s former team in the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.