After turning in an outstanding Eastern Conference Finals in 2018 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards signed Jeff Green to a veteran’s minimum in hopes of plugging the vacancy left behind from Mike Scott’s departure. No one thought nor expected that Green would produce at or close to the level of his predecessor.
But to everyone’s surprise, Green, playing in his 11th NBA season and for his eighth NBA franchise, turned in arguably the best season of his career.
Positives this season
Green scorched the nets with an extremely efficient 60.8 true shooting percentage, the best of his career. Jeff Green’s season started in a reserve role as he was tasked to come in off the bench for Markieff Morris and spark the second unit — boy did he.
The former Georgetown Hoya, playing home games in the same arena that he played his college ball was outstanding for Washington from the get-go. He shot an impressive 50 percent over the first full month of the season and proved to be the only ‘go get a bucket guy’ on the second unit whenever Scott Brooks opted to go with an all-bench lineup.
Green had his moments where he looked like the best player on the floor at any given time and if anyone thought this athleticism was starting to fade, he had these dunks to remind people otherwise:
Jeff Green with a nice dunk from the baseline pic.twitter.com/c9V9doaHGg— George R.R. Mountain (@DFSBBallGuy) February 28, 2019
Before the All-Star break, Green was a pleasant surprise and many would argue that he was even better in filling the void left behind by Mike Scott. Green knocked down 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts and chipped in with 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per night.
Spots for improvement
But then, the All-Star break happened. Post All-Star break, Green’s shooting, scoring, and rebounding all dipped. And the frustrations that seem to follow Green wherever he goes, also tagged along for this current season. As mentioned, there were instances where Green looked like the best player on the floor but also nights where he pulled a disappearing act.
Defense wasn’t his strong suit either. Like most of the Wizards roster this year, Green didn’t have much interest in playing defense. Far too often, Green took possessions off on that end of the floor, was a step late in his rotations, or would jump for rebounds rather than putting a body on a guy and boxing out.
In order for a team to be stout defensively, all five players have to have bought in and be on the same page. In Green’s defense, it’s not like most of the other Wizards were locking in on that end of the floor either.
Green fell into the Wizards’ lap this offseason on a one-year, very economic, veteran’s minimum deal. It’s likely that Green will receive a similar offer this summer. Green has hinted that he wants to re-sign with the Wizards. This would be a steal for Washington if they could bring him back on another contract at that level because they are in a bind with the salary cap.
Positionally, the Wizards also have a hole at the power forward position with Markieff Morris gone and uncertainty as to whether or not the team will re-sign Bobby Portis. Green feels like the obvious choice of the two considering he won’t cost as much and can be a positive voice in the locker room as the Wizards enter the 2019-20 season.