Danny Green finally has a home for next season. The two-time world champion had reportedly been waiting to see if former teammate Kawhi Leonard would return to the Toronto Raptors to defend last month’s NBA title. Both Green and Leonard arrived in Toronto prior to last season when the San Antonio Spurs traded them to the NBA’s lone Canadian representative.
Instead, both players will be joining different teams — though they’ll share a home arena. Early Saturday morning, it was announced that Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers after they agreed to a mega trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, guaranteeing that Leonard had a future Robin to his Batman. But since this is a Tar Heel site, you don’t care about that. I know. I know.
However, that decision gave Green the freedom to offer his services to the rest of the league. He also settled on Los Angeles where he’ll join Leonard at the Staples Center, only Green will be playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers. Green announced the move on his podcast “Inside the Green Room” and Twitter.
The move reunites Lebron and Green, who both began their careers in Cleveland. Check out a young DG teaching James some moves that Tar Heel fans grew accustomed to seeing.
LeBron and Danny Green all next season pic.twitter.com/Q6LsQ0XBVZ— Shannon Moorer (@ShannonMoorer) July 6, 2019
James also became familiar with Green as an opponent. Were it not for a borderline miracle three-pointer by Ray Allen in 2013, the 2009 NCAA Champion was likely headed to an NBA Finals MVP with the Spurs. In that NBA finals series, Green was 26-43 (60.4%) from behind the arc. San Antonio got revenge the next season, sweeping the Cavaliers and giving Green his first NBA title.
When the Spurs traded him last season, many viewed his inclusion in the package deal as throwaway addition. A player with a familiar name, but who probably wouldn’t be a major factor in the Raptors’ plans. That turned out to be laughable, as Green exceeded his career averages in every single statistical category. You can check out his career stats at basketball-reference. Among the most impressive results? He started 104 games (including playoffs), averaged 10.3 ppg, hit 45.5% from deep, and 48.2% inside the arc. Those shooting percentages set a career high, and his 80 regular season starts tied another career high.
The Lakers saw enough of a resurgence to pay him $30 million over the next two years. He joins a star-studded starting lineup with James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma, Green’s signing will bring a sharp-shooting wing to space the floor for James and Davis. He also brings some defensive relief on the perimeter, as evidenced by this UNC on Duke crime in this year’s NBA Finals.
The Lakers will now try to add some depth as they look to capitalize on what will be a short window of opportunity in a suddenly wide open, but competitive, Western Conference.