Gerald Green Will Revitalize His Career With Phoenix
When the Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns completed a trade this offseason, the only real part of it that went noticed was that Luis Scola would be headed to Indy. Believe it or not, Phoenix actually got quite a bit of value, and that value is going to come in the form of Gerald Green.
Many people remember Green because of his high flying dunks during his time in Boston, but what many people don’t know is that he was actually out of the league for a couple of years, and he spent that time working on every facet of his game in Russia. He came back in during the 2011-2012 season, and he made his presence felt with the New Jersey Nets.
It was only 31 games, but his efficiency was way up, and he was hitting shots a higher clip than he ever had before. He was also rebounding and passing better than he had in the past, and it looked like the time spent away from the league was definitely put to good use. He had done enough in that 31-game showcase to give the Pacers a reason to sign him to a 3-year, $10.5 million deal in the 2012 offseason, and it appeared that he might finally be reaching the potential that he had once shown in Boston.
Given Indiana’s willingness to trade him after just one season into this contract, it is clear that things didn’t go so well. He had one of the worst seasons of his career, and it was clear that he just couldn’t carve out a spot in the Pacers rotation, for whatever reason. His style of basketball relies on offense, while Indiana and coach Frank Vogel tend to harp on the defensive side of the ball, so there was a bit of a disconnect. On the positive side of his time there, he played some of the best defense of his career, so we can see that he is still developing as a player.
Now that he is in Phoenix, in a system that focuses more on offense (to say the least), I think that he’s going to thrive. His athletic style is built for a fast-paced offense such as the Suns, rather than the slowed down, half court sets that the Pacers run. Don’t get me wrong, the Pacers are great and their style works for them, but it’s just not condusive to players like Green.
Given the opening that there is at the small forward spot in Phoenix, there’s no doubt that Green will be able to see substantial minutes if he is able to show some of the ability that he did during his time in New Jersey. Right out of the gate, it is likely that he is going to start there, and I expect him to absolutely thrive given that he’ll be one of the top options on offense.
On a rebuilding team like the Suns, it’s certainly going to be a rough year, but I know that Gerald Green will be a bright spot, and he’ll assert himself as part of the future for the team.
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