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Jeff Green Traded To Celtics, Where He'll Have To Accept A Reduced Role

Jeff Green is the biggest piece that the Boston Celtics acquired in a surprising trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. The 24-year old forward was initially drafted by the Celtics with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 draft before being sent to the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen. Now, he's come full circle as a teammate of Allen's. (Ironically, one other player in that trade -- Delonte West -- is also back with the Celtics).

Green will likely be a reserve for the Celtics, backing up both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. If so, it'll mean that Green will have to accept a reduced role from the one he was playing with the Thunder. Green has played about 37 minutes per game in each of the last three seasons, but now, he may have to settle for 60 percent of that. I would think the Celtics would use him primarily to back up Pierce at small forward, with him also seeing time at power forward in small lineups. 

It's a role that may be better suited for him, in the end. Green has shown little growth as a player since a promising second season. His three-point shooting percentage has fallen off in each of the last three seasons, and his rebounding has always been a major weakness for a power forward. Defensively, Green has fallen off since a promising performance last season. In fact, I argued earlier this year that Green was one thing holding the Thunder back. But these weaknesses are less of a problem as a reserve than as a front-line starter, so maybe we will start to appreciate Green's versatility and his relative strengths.