One of the biggest question marks of the offseason is Jeff Green. First of all, over a month ago, it was announced that Jeff Green's signing was imminent. They had agreed on the contract and it would be signed any day. Then on July 14, Danny Ainge introduced the newest Celtics including Green, Terry, Bass, and Wilcox. At the time, neither Green nor Terry were signed but again, we were told that the signings were imminent. The hold on Terry's contract was that Danny was trying to work a sign and trade to save the MLE to sign Courtney Lee. When that was no longer possible, Terry was officially signed. And still we wait on Jeff Green.
There is no shortage of discussion on what the possible holdup is. If you go to any Celtics message board, you will find at least one thread on what the hold up on his contract is. We have heard nothing official from the Celtics so fans are left to their imaginations. Sadly it's too close to the weeks leading up to his surgery when he wasn't playing but no explanation was given other than it was personal. So, it's no surprise that many of the conjectures involve his health. Some feel that maybe he still has not been fully cleared by doctors as fully healthy, and that brings up the concern that he may not be cleared at all.
Heels to Hoops did an interview with Jeff over the weekend and Jeff's answers seem to confute that explanation.
Those answers indicate that he's doing fine, working out, and looking forward to a long career in the NBA, beginning with helping the Celtic win Banner 18 this season. So, that refutes those who feel that possibly there is still a physical problem that would prevent the Celtics from signing him once again. That doesn't mean that there isn't a final round of tests to finally clear him for full contact that have yet to be given, but that doesn't seem likely given what Green had to say about feeling awesome.
Green's agent, David Falk, chalks the hold up to working out minor contract details. He said that they are still negotiating issues dealing with the new collective bargaining agreement. He has also repeated often that his client is 100% healthy and playing 5 on 5 and working hard to get back to NBA shape. This was reported in the Globe on July 25.
"I expect it will be done imminently," he said. "Just some collective bargaining issues that changed. Just some details stuff, nothing serious."
So, could the holdup be details such as front load or back load of the contract? Maybe Danny wants a health clause in there in case there are complications and Falk doesn't think that's necessary. Possibly there is a question of whether it will be fully guaranteed or if one of the years will be a team option. Maybe it has to do with the Celtics retaining his Bird Rights even though he didn't play last season and they have to word it just right to stay out of trouble. Maybe there is a problem with insurance coverage should another problem arise. There are many possibilities that have nothing to do with Green's health.
Or, maybe it has to do with the numbers. We have been told that the contract will be in the neighborhood of 4 years/ $36 million. On ESPN Insider, John Hollinger posted his assessments of team moves. In the midst of praise for the Celtics offseason, he had this to say:
The one negative was the Green deal, which is believed to be four years, $32 million -- far too much for a player who has proven fairly replaceable in his first four seasons and missed the fifth with a heart problem. Nonetheless, Boston, against all odds, seems primed for yet one more run.
Now, I take whatever I read on ESPN with a grain of salt, but that's a $4 million difference over the 4 years. It's possible that Falk is looking for the $9 million per year that Green was offered before the surgery and Danny is trying to get him for $8 million a year, citing the year off and long term contract. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that it has something to do with the contract rather than his health. Whatever the reason, hopefully we will find out soon since the contract has been imminent for over a month now.