Recently, I posted A Few Random Jeff Green Thoughts. Those thoughts were mostly around the possible reasons for his signing being imminent for well over a month. We still don't have the answer to what is holding up his signing, but he's been working out and playing pick up games and so I'm thinking it has more to do with the language and conditions in the contract than it does the condition of the player.
When asked on the Heels to Hoops interview what his summer consisted of and how he was feeling, he answered:
"Working out, 8 am basketball, 10:30 weights. On certain days I do a boxing workout."
"I feel awesome. I actually feel a lot better than I did prior to the surgery. It was a blessing, and I’m doing better now."
Then there was this tweet about working out with him:
He says he's fine and he's working out strenuously on the Georgetown Exorcist Stairs, I'm going to believe that the hold up is with the contract and not with his health.
With that out of the way, I've been thinking a bit about what he can add to the team this season. Right after the trade, I didn't want to like Jeff Green. My favorite all time player was just sent to OKC in order to bring him in and I was pretty bitter. I still believe that if Danny had not pulled the trigger on that trade, we would have won the championship. The Celtics went downhill after that trade but it wasn't Jeff's fault.
Jeff didn't play very well in those months after the trade but he had a lot to deal with too. He went from starting to the bench. He went from playing power forward to playing small forward. He went from a very young team to an older veteran team. He went from laid back OKC to faster paced Boston. He had to leave players behind he considered to be brothers, just as Perk has to leave his brothers on the Celtics. That's a lot of change for a young player.
But, Green took it in stride and did the best he could and worked at bonding with his new team and he played hard, even if he didn't play well 100% of the time. He was looking forward to a fresh start last season and then the doctors found the heart problem. But, to his credit, even though he was a free agent, when he was able to, he was at the Garden and was cheering the Celtics on and this offseason, when he could have gone anywhere, he wanted to come back to Boston. He's a Celtic.
I'm really hoping that Danny can get his contract ironed out and get him signed. There's a lot of discussion about whether he is worth the eight or nine million dollars a year that his contract is rumored to be worth, but I do think that he is going to help the Celtics this season and that we will see a much better Jeff Green this season for several reasons.
Jeff has built chemistry with his teammates on the Celtics even though he was unable to play last season, and that goes a long way toward a team gelling on the court. He has also has had a season to learn the offensive and defensive sets, even though it was by watching from the sidelines. Somethings watching something enough ingrains it into your subconscious, kind of like a subliminal cut.
Also, he will start the season knowing his role instead of being thrust into a role halfway through the season. He will also be playing the small forward position primarily. His natural position is small forward. He played power forward in OKC and against most of the starting 4's he got pushed around and so his defense wasn't always the greatest. I believe he is quick and strong enough and at 6'9", he should be able to cover any small forward in the league.
I can see Jeff playing small forward on a fast break team when we go big or power forward when we play small. He can run with Rondo on the break and is very athletic to finish strong. I'm expecting great things from him this season. That is, if we can ever get him officially signed.