Sure, Danny Green is aware that Lakers fans are not exactly thrilled with his performance this season. He was brought in during NBA free agency last summer as a lure to help the team land Kawhi Leonard, which it ultimately failed to do. Green went out and averaged just 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds this year, and flopped in the playoffs, again averaging 8.0 points, with just 34.7% shooting from the field and 33.9% 3-point shooting.
Green ranked sixth in scoring for the Lakers this season, but with a two-year contract worth $30 million, was third on the team in salary. For a player who came in with a championship pedigree, Green was a major disappointment.
The response has been, of course, a slew of trade rumors. Green has been most prominently mentioned as a candidate to be sent out in a deal for Pacers wing Victor Oladipo.
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Green’s response? A shrug. He has been in the league for 11 seasons, has had multiple stints in the G-League and was traded once, from San Antonio to Toronto two years ago.
“It’s not the first time I have heard it, it won’t be the last time,” Green said this week on his Inside the Green Room podcast (H/T Lakersdaily.com). “I remember the first time I heard a trade rumor, I was in San Antonio, it might have been my second or third year. It was, ‘They’re talking about trade rumors with you, you must have made it.’
“It’s been almost 10 years now me hearing about trade rumors. But you ignore the noise. If it happens, it happens.”
Danny Green Has $15.4 Million on his Lakers Contract Next Season
Still, Green understands that the realities of the NBA could mean he will be sent packing in the coming weeks. He did struggle in Los Angeles and with a payout of $15.4 million for next season, the Lakers would like a better return on their investment.
He said he would like to stay put, but he won’t begrudge general manager Rob Pelinka the ability to seek out a deal. As Green said:
R.P. is a respectful guy,. I’m sure he’ll give me a call. I understand the nature of the business. Everybody is going to get better. Everybody’s looking to make moves and get better, so we need to do that as well.
Hopefully, part of that process is still keeping me here. I think we bring everybody back, we do what we did this year and hopefully not in a bubble. But I think the group we have is special. I think we can still make something special happen regardless of what moves are made outside of us, whether teams get better or healthier.
Lakers Loaded With Free Agents, Possibly Forced to Move Green
Green did acknowledge that while last year’s group was special, this year’s group will be necessarily different. The Lakers have a lengthy list of free agents and potential free agents: Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.
The Lakers will be looking at the market for new players, too.
Thus not all free agents will be back. In fact, beyond Davis, none are guaranteed to return. It is reasonable to expect that, after Davis, another three or four of those players could be back.
“It’s going to be hard to bring back all 10 free agents,” Green said, “but if we bring back the majority, with the nucleus we have now, the guys on the roster, I still believe we have a special team to do something great.”
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