The NBA trade deadline is not until Feb. 19, but that hasn’t stopped teams from making deals. After all, teams and their general managers are always looking for ways to improve their squad.
Michael Lee highlighted five players who should get dealt and where they’d best fit, and one of those mentioned has a lot of value for the right club: Gerald Green of the Phoenix Suns.
Green is a valued reserve whose above-the-rim acrobatics have been essential to helping the Suns have the third-highest scoring bench in the NBA. But Green will be a free agent this summer and has earned a significant pay raise from his $3.5 million salary after averaging nearly 15 points in two seasons in Phoenix.
The 28-year-old swingman may have only nine fingers, but he is a volume shooter behind the three-point line, taking 50.7 percent of his 11.8 field goals per game from beyond the arc.
He does a good job of making them too: his 37.2 three-point percentage is 14th best among players hoisting at least five three-point shots per game. And he can make those shots with defenders as close as two feet.
Plus, despite coming off the bench, when Green is on the court 28.5 percent of the Suns’ possessions run through him, making him one of seven players starting five games or less but playing more than 20 minutes per game with a usage rate of 25 percent or greater.
The best use of his skills is by a team that can get him the ball in space, as more than a third of all his three-point shots are via the catch-and-shoot (zero dribbles) and that’s also when he is at his best in terms of nailing the shot.
Here is how it looks against Memphis, where Green (No. 14 in red) made a 24-foot three-point shot with a defender on his way.
Green, however, thinks he has even more to offer.
“I don’t want to just shoot threes. I’m not that type of player. I need to be more of a take-what-the-defense-gives-me player and not force the issue. Last year, I was forcing it because I needed to score to help the team win. This year, my scoring really is not needed. I just need to go out there and not make a bozo play and give the other team momentum”