Boston Celtics: Jeff Green

Notes: Green debuts for Memphis

January, 15, 2015
Jan 15
12:20
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 Jeff GreenJesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesFormer Celtics forward Jeff Green had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting on Wednesday.
BOSTON -- A few leftover notes from Wednesday night:

GREEN DEBUTS IN MEMPHIS

Jeff Green's stat line from his debut for the Memphis Grizzlies: 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting with three rebounds and two assists over 26 minutes, 30 seconds in a reserve role. He was minus-9 in plus/minus as Memphis posted a 103-92 triumph in Brooklyn.

Green is wearing No. 32 with the Grizzlies. Talking about how he can fit in with Memphis, he told reporters, "I mean, I'm surrounded by threats. It's a great feeling to have. Coach [Dave Joerger] just wants me to go out there and just play my game and just be aggressive."

TURNER INJURES THUMB

Celtics starting point guard Evan Turner had his right thumb bandaged after injuring it during Wednesday's 105-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Turner said he banged his thumb on Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll and expected to have the injury reevaluated on Thursday before practice.

Turner has started 11 games this season, elevating to starting point guard after Rajon Rondo's departure last month. Turner is averaging 9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4 assists over 24.5 minutes per game in 36 appearances.

Turner was limited by the injury and finished with only three points on 1-of-5 shooting with six assists and four rebounds over 26:36.

TEST AGAINST THE BEST

Even though the Hawks rested two starters in Kyle Korver and Al Horford, they kept rolling while winning for the 24th time in 26 games. Celtics coach Brad Stevens liked the challenge and hopes it helps his team realize how small its margin for error is against quality competition.

"I think it’s what we need," he said. "I think we need to play -- and I’m getting my wish -- we’re playing the very best of the best. We’ve got to be able to understand that, with all the things we didn’t do well, it was a five-possession game. And with all of the miscues we make, we have to learn the importance of attention to detail for us on every single possession. We have to learn the importance of taking care of the ball, and all those things. I mean, it’s easy; everybody knows it. You can recite all the things that lead to winning, but doing it is a different thing. And doing it with a presence all the time is what the good teams do. That’s why I appreciate the way [the Hawks are] going about things. Man, it’s a really good team. And they just keep getting better."

Ainge thinks Green will thrive in Memphis

January, 12, 2015
Jan 12
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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that the uncertainty surrounding Jeff Green's future with the team, along with the value he commanded on the trade market, ultimately led to the three-team swap that formally delivered Green to Memphis on Monday.

The Celtics traded Green to Memphis in exchange for a future first-round pick and Tayshaun Prince. Boston also received Austin Rivers from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Green owns a $9.2 million player option for next season and Ainge admitted the possibility that Green might elect to test unrestricted free agency this summer contributed to the team's decision to move him, particularly as Boston continues a future-minded roster overhaul after trading Rajon Rondo to Dallas last month.

Neither of the players Boston acquired had reported to the Celtics as of Monday night. Prince is expected to join the team this week and conference with Ainge about his potential role with the team. Rivers might join the team, but could also be headed to the Los Angeles Clippers, where there's interest in adding the former lottery pick to his father's team.

Both Ainge and Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised Green for his accomplishments in Boston.

"Jeff was a high-character guy who came to work every day," Ainge said. "After his heart condition [forced him to miss the entire 2011-12 season], he really put forth a great effort to get himself back as an NBA player. I don’t think he missed a game; I’m not sure he even missed a practice. He worked really hard.

"I think that Jeff is a guy that still hasn’t reached his prime, even at his age. I think that he’s still getting better. But I think he was a good guy in the locker room, our leading scorer this year, and he was a pleasure to be around. I think he’ll be a good addition in Memphis."

Stevens likewise praised Green and said he hopes Boston's young core steps up with a greater opportunity with his departure.

"I'm thankful for Jeff and his efforts here," Stevens said. "I thought he had a lot of great moments since I’ve been coaching the last year and a half, and certainly before that. I talked with him [this weekend and] he was really thankful to this city and the fans of this city. He's certainly looked forward to his opportunity [in Memphis].

"We’re thankful for what he gave this organization. Any time you lose your leading scorer, there’s going to be challenges that come with that. Losing him three weeks after losing your multiple-time All-Star point guard, there’s going to be challenges that come with that. That’s why you prepare everybody to play. And that’s why everybody has this talk about next man up and you try to do the very best you can."

The pick that Boston received from Memphis will be delivered two years after the Grizzlies fulfill an obligation to the Denver Nuggets. The pick is protected 1-11 in 2017, 1-13 in 2018, 1-9 in 2019, 1-7 in 2020 and is unprotected in 2021.

The Celtics have a growing war chest of draft picks that is likely to feature six first-round picks and 14 total selections over the next two drafts.

Ainge was asked if he's done trading this season and offered, "I don’t know that. You never know. I’m not done talking."
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Jeff Green

Snapshot: Jeff Green thanks Boston fans

January, 12, 2015
Jan 12
2:12
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Jeff Green

Celts announce three-team trade

January, 12, 2015
Jan 12
12:00
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Twitter.com/NBATVA glimpse of Jeff Green in a Grizzlies jersey.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The NBA has approved a five-player trade between the Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans that includes forward Jeff Green going from Boston to Memphis.

The Grizzlies and Celtics announced the deal Monday.

In the trade, the Grizzlies send forward Tayshaun Prince to Boston and forward Quincy Pondexter to New Orleans. The Grizzlies also acquired point guard Russ Smith, a 2014 second-round pick, from New Orleans, and a traded player exception. The Pelicans send Austin Rivers, the 10th overall pick in 2012, to Boston in the deal.

Memphis also sends a 2015 second-round pick to New Orleans and a protected future first round pick to Boston.

Green is expected to provide more offense for Memphis, which is tied with Houston atop the tight Southwest Division.

(Read full story)
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Jeff Green

C's get Austin Rivers in Green deal?

January, 10, 2015
Jan 10
3:15
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The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to send former lottery pick Austin Rivers to the Boston Celtics to help complete the Celtics' looming Jeff Green trade with Memphis, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Pelicans have been recruited to join the trade struck Friday by the Celtics and Grizzlies by sending Rivers to Boston and taking on guard Quincy Pondexter from the Grizzlies.

On Friday, as ESPN.com first reported, Boston and Memphis came to terms on the larger elements of a deal, with the Celtics agreeing to send Green to the Grizzlies for Tayshaun Prince's $7.7 million expiring contract and a future first-round pick.

Rivers, son of former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft. Sources say that Boston, though, does not intend to keep Rivers and will make him immediately available via trade. One source with knowledge of the Clippers' thinking told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne that L.A. -- with Doc Rivers serving as coach and team president-- believes it will ultimate acquire Rivers.

When asked if he would be open to coaching his son, Doc said things have changed over time and he would be open to it.

"I would. I think a year ago I probably wouldn't. I think I would for sure," he said. "I think this team could handle that. He's a downhill guard, which is something we need so I certainly would (be open to coaching him)."

(Read full story)



Rapid Reaction: C's add another potential (tradable) asset

By bringing the Pelicans into the deal, the Celtics get another first-round pick -- this one in the form of former lottery selection Austin Rivers, who was the 10th overall selection in the 2012 draft.

It appears Boston will immediately try to flip him for a second-round pick -- with the Clippers an obvious location given his family ties.

Rivers has averaged 6.9 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.9 rebounds over 21.4 minutes per game over two-plus seasons with the Hornets. His field goal percentage is an ice cold 38.7 percent this season (including just 28 percent beyond the 3-point arc). The Pelicans previously declined to pick up a $3.1 million team option on Rivers, positioning him to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The Celtics have long been rumored to be interested in Rivers, as far back as before the 2012 draft. But the team's backcourt is already overstocked with guards and a chance to move Rivers for a pick is more agreeable than overcrowding the depth chart.

--Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston.com


(Updated to reflect likelihood that Boston will trade Rivers)

Sources: Green-to-Grizzlies talks heat up

January, 9, 2015
Jan 9
5:15
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Trade talks to send Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies are heating up, according to league sources.

Although sources stressed Friday to ESPN.com that hurdles still have to be cleared before a trade can go through, Memphis has emerged as the most serious suitor for Green, who is widely known to be available in the wake of Boston's recent trade of Rajon Rondo to Dallas, which launched the Celtics' rebuilding process in earnest.

The Celtics and Grizzlies, sources said, have been exchanging trade proposals on Green for some time, with Memphis believed to be offering the $7.7 million expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince and a future first-round pick to Boston in exchange for Green.

But it remains to be seen -- if the teams can reach the point of consummating a trade -- whether other players and further draft compensation would be added.

ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Grizzlies were aggressively pursuing the likes of Green and Miami Heat swingman Luol Deng in hopes of bolstering their wing rotation in the ever-competitive Western Conference. The two teams below Memphis in the standings on Friday have both made significant roster additions in recent weeks, with Dallas acquiring Rondo and Houston acquiring Corey Brewer and Josh Smith.

(Read full story)
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Jeff Green

The day before Rajon Rondo returned to play his former team last week, Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green sat on the sidelines at the team's training facility and was asked what it might be like to have to play a former team so soon after changing jerseys.

[+] EnlargePierce
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images
"I don't want to know how that feels because I don't want to be traded," said Green.

Whether he wants it or not, Green's name crested in trade rumors early on Thursday morning with rumbles that the Memphis Grizzlies are actively trying to obtain Green -- or Miami's Luol Deng -- to bolster their wing position before the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

In case you were wondering, the Grizzlies visit Boston on March 11.

That Green is in the rumors shouldn't be surprising at all. As emphasized by the Rondo trade, the Celtics remain in rebuilding mode and have not tried to mask their desire to turn veteran talent into future assets.

The 28-year-old Green has a player option for next season valued at $9.2 million, but might be more inclined to dive into the free-agent market in search of a lucrative longer-term deal. That essentially makes him an expiring contract and Boston is performing its due diligence by gauging the market on a player that could walk away at season's end without compensation.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge steers clear of public chatter about rumors, but when he was asked during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio Thursday about the rumblings about Green, he offered, "It’s that time of year and there are going to be a lot of rumors, especially when you’re a team that has won 12 games. Jeff Green's name is all over the [media] today. I guess Jeff is the new Rondo for our team."

Yes and a contender seeking an in-season power-up can almost certainly secure Green for the same future first-round pick that highlighted Dallas' trade package for Rondo. A team like Memphis can shop now and beat the February rush (hey, that Courtney Lee deal worked out pretty well, didn't it Griz?), or roll the dice that a steep asking price will dip as the deadline nears.

Ainge certainly did his best to sell Green to the rest of the league.

"Jeff has been our best player this year, and he has had a fantastic year," Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub. "[Wednesday] night, he didn’t have a good game, he got in foul trouble early, but he hit two big shots to seal the victory down the stretch. He has been our most consistent scorer."

You can quibble with the use of "fantastic," but Ainge told the truth. Green has averaged a team- and career-best 17.6 points per game this season. Despite a dip in his 3-point shooting (he's near a career low -- rookie season excluded -- at 30.5 percent beyond the arc this year), Green has shot nearly 50 percent inside the arc. Fourteen times this season, Green has topped the team in scoring with 10 games of 20+ points.

Green made us all wonder earlier in the year if he'd finally found the consistency he was so often criticized for lacking. He had reached double figures in scoring in 33 consecutive regular-season games (including the first 25 this season) before that streak ended soon after the Rondo trade.

Since that Rondo swap, Green has averaged 13 points on 38 percent shooting over the past 10 games. Boston's offensive rating is an anemic 93.4 points per 100 possessions with Green on the court since the Rondo deal, the second worst mark on the team among regulars (only Brandon Bass has a worse rating in that span).

(Read full post)

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Sources: Grizzlies eye Jeff Green

January, 8, 2015
Jan 8
7:45
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From ESPN.com's Marc Stein:
The Memphis Grizzlies, looking to bolster their scoring options on the wing in the ever-competitive Western Conference, are actively trying to obtain Miami's Luol Deng or Boston's Jeff Green ahead of the Feb. 19 trade deadline, according to league sources.

No deal is imminent, sources said, but it has become clear the Grizzlies are intent on upgrading their wing rotation. The teams behind third-place Memphis (25-10) in the Western Conference standings already have made notable in-season additions -- such as Dallas (Rajon Rondo) and Houston (Corey Brewer and Josh Smith) -- and Oklahoma City has yet to move into playoff position.

The Grizzlies are making an active push to bring in Luol Deng or Jeff Green to buoy their wing threats in the ultra-competitive West, according to sources.

[Green] is widely believed to be available leading into the deadline in the wake of Boston's deal to send Rondo to Dallas last month. However, Green told local reporters last week on the eve of Rondo's first game at TD Garden as a visiting player that he doesn't "want to know how that feels because I don't want to be traded."

Any Grizzlies offer for Deng or Green is likely to feature the $7.7 million expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince as well as the promise of future draft compensation.

[Read full story]



RAPID REACTION

Any team seeking an upgrade at the wing position in advance of February's trade deadline will find the Celtics are willing to listen to offers for Green's services.

Green owns a $9.2 million player option for next season, but could opt to become a free agent in hopes of securing a more lucrative long-term contract. That essentially makes him an expiring contract, exactly the sort of addition a contender seeking a playoff boost would desire (though maybe limiting the potential return given the rental).

The Celtics already dealt away Rajon Rondo last month in a future-minded move that brought back a future first-round pick and some young talent that could be here (Jae Crowder) long term or moved for more assets (Brandan Wright?)

With an overcrowded roster, it's been widely speculated that Boston is willing to move some of its veteran talent with hopes of adding more assets. Keep in mind that Memphis already traded away its 2015 first-round pick, meaning a future first would be unlikely to be received until 2017 or later.

Some will wonder if the Celtics can pry 2014 first-round pick Jordan Adams -- a 20-year-old shooting guard who has played only 73 minutes in nine appearances this season -- but the Grizzlies might be more inclined to move future assets. Boston's return on Green is likely to be dictated by the interest from buyers in advance of the deadline.

The Celtics and Grizzlies made a swap nearly a year ago that sent Courtney Lee to Memphis and Lee blossomed there.

Green played some incredibly consistent ball at the start of this season, but has faded lately in the aftermath of the Rondo deal. For the season, Green is averaging 17.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over 33.1 minutes per game. Those numbers since the Rondo trade have dipped to 13 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists over 31.2 minutes per game. Boston's offensive rating is an anemic 93.4 with Green on the court since the Rondo deal, the second worst mark on the team among regulars (only Brandon Bass has a worst rating in that span).

Green has said recently that he doesn't desire to be traded, but Boston clearly has reasons to explore a deal.

Moving Green could open valuable playing time for some of Boston's younger players, including Crowder and first-round pick James Young, who has spent much of the season trekking to the NBA Development League for game reps.
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Jeff Green

Jeff Green's success isn't translating

December, 9, 2014
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The knock on Jeff Green has long been that he's simply not consistent enough, which is why it's so surprising that, nearing the end of the first quarter of the 2014-15 season, a case can be made that Green has been the most consistent player on the Boston Celtics.

[+] EnlargeJeff Green
Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsMany of Jeff Green's individual numbers are the best of his career but when he's on the floor, the Celtics' point differential suffers.
The 28-year-old Green is averaging a team- and career-best 19.8 points per game this season while adding 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals over a team-high 34.3 minutes per game. Even as his 3-point shot defied him early this season (31.3 percent overall), Green has thrived attacking the basket harder than in any season of his career. A career-best 56.2 true shooting percentage reflects his overall offensive efficiency.

But while Green ranks No. 19 among the league's leading scorers through 19 games, advanced metrics continue to suggest that the Celtics perform better with him off the court. Sticking with our format from reviewing Rajon Rondo's first month of the season, we look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Green's play thus far.

THE GOOD

When evaluating Green's performance, Celtics coach Brad Stevens often suggests that the team needs him to "soar with his strengths." Green will never be a particularly strong rebounder and, despite the frequency with which he touches the ball, he's never been very good at generating offense for others. Green's main job on the court is to put the ball in the basket, and he does that as well as anyone on the Celtics.

Zoom in on the five games that the team has played to start the month of December. Green is averaging 25.8 points per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor. His 3-point percentage finally is climbing -- it's at a lofty 45.8 percent this month. What's more, Green is averaging 7.2 free throw attempts per game, illustrating the balance he has struck between taking advantage of open perimeter looks and attacking the rim.

Synergy Sports data has Green averaging 1.013 points per possession finished. Of players with at least 300 plays finished this season, he is 15th in the league, snugly tucked between Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry.

Synergy also has a metric called score percentage that calculates the percentage of possessions finished in which the player generates at least 1 point. Green ranks 24th overall at 46.1 percent in a category that tends to be skewed toward big men, but his score percentage placement is made more impressive when you consider that LeBron James sits two spots behind Green at 46 percent.

[Read full story]
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Practice: Green picks up his defense

December, 6, 2014
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- Long criticized for his lack of consistency, Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green has quieted most of those grumbles this season with reliable offensive output. The day after Green took on the challenge of guarding Kobe Bryant in Boston's win over the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Brad Stevens made it a point Saturday to single out Green's improving defensive consistency as well.

[+] EnlargeAnthony/Green
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
"He’s played well, defensively, this year," Stevens said. "I think it’s been a good area of growth for him. "[Friday] night, he took it and really stepped it up a notch, to the point where he got tired and came out of the game twice. And that’s good. That’s a really good thing. Any time you’re guarding a guy like Kobe, you’re going to be absolutely locked in. Hopefully he can continue to grow in that area because he has played a good defensive season so far."

Green has never been regarded as a lockdown defender, but his size and athleticism allow him to harass wings. Green's length tends to bothers shooters from the perimeter, and he's been known to produce a highlight-worthy chase-down block. Troubles tend to appear when opponents muscle him up near the basket.

Where Green appears to be making strides this year is in defending inside the arc, though troubles remain near the hoop. According to the league's player tracking defensive data, opponents are shooting 43.8 percent against him overall, which is 1.8 percent lower than those players' season average. Last season, opponents shot 46.7 percent against him (or 1.6 percent higher than their season average), so it's a step in the right direction.

Synergy Sports' advanced defensive data haven't reflected quite as well on Green. He ranks in the 30th percentile among all league players, as he allows 0.945 points per play. Green was credited with 19 plays defended in Friday's game against the Lakers and allowed only 14 points -- a quality 0.737 points per play -- which is made even glossier when you consider he was often guarding Bryant. Green had a particularly strong defensive second half against the Lakers.

But there remains one eyesore: Green's defensive rating on the floor is 107.5. That's two points worse than the team's season average, and Boston is nearly seven points better without him on the floor this season.

Green shrugged off the idea that his defense is improving.

"Just doing what coach asks me to do," he said. "The game plan for us is five guys play defense, so I'm just doing my job."

Offensively, Green is averaging a team-best 19 points on 45.5 percent shooting in 34.1 minutes per game in 17 appearances. He hasn't shot the 3-pointer particularly well (31 percent), but as Stevens noted, he's Boston's most consistent player in getting to the free throw line -- something Boston's offense desperately needs.

A few more notes from Saturday's session:

Smart practices: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart engaged in the entirety of the team's off-day practice, then stayed late to get some shots up. Stevens held off using Smart in Friday's game. This after Smart played just five minutes in his return to game action Wednesday and made an appearance in the D-League on Thursday. The team is treading cautiously with Smart and trying to help him shake some rust before ramping up his minutes again. Stevens said Friday, "I think [Smart is] a really good player. I think he’s a big part of what we’re doing, but I’m not going to throw him out there if I don’t think he’s ready to roll."

Powell, Young head north: Rookies James Young and Dwight Powell were headed back to Portland on Saturday evening to join the Red Claws for a game against the Sioux Falls Skyforce. This is the fourth assignment to the D-League this season for each rookie, as Boston attempts to maximize their game reps.

Faverani sighting: Second-year center Vitor Faverani engaged in some light shooting as teammates stretched at the end of practice, but Stevens said there is no update on his condition. "He was just out here shooting around," Stevens said.
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Jeff Green

Jeff Green: Trade rumor is false

November, 23, 2014
11/23/14
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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green stressed after Sunday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers that any frustration he is experiencing is merely a factor of Boston's early-season struggles and does not represent unhappiness with the organization.

[+] EnlargeGreen
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Green said he received a text directing him to an undisclosed article that suggested he desired to be traded from Boston. Unprompted, Green addressed the story -- one that most of the assembled media was unaware of -- after Sunday's game.

"Before you start, I just want to clear the air about some B.S. rumor that came out," Green said. "I don’t know if the person who made this article is in this [group of reporters], but the rumor about me wanting to get traded is definitely false. I said that I was frustrated with losing, not frustrated with the team. So if the words didn’t come from my mouth, I'd appreciate if you do not write a dumb--- article like that."

During an on-camera interview following Friday’s loss in Memphis, Green told CSNNE that his frustrations with losing were at an "all-time high" and he added, "I'm tired of losing." The station's website later reported, citing a league executive, that Green's value could be high this offseason when he has potential to opt out of his deal and become a free agent.

Green's frustrations, however, seemed to stem from another site that combined the two reports and took his quotes out of context, suggesting his frustrations left him yearning for a trade out of Boston.

Green said reporters are "going to write whatever you want to write, I just want it to be the truth."

Green was asked how he feels about Boston and whether he wants to be here long term to see through this rebuilding process.

"I want to stay here," Green said. "I love this team. I love being here."

Later he added, "If I didn’t [want to be here], I wouldn’t have signed [his most recent] contract to come back here. I’m happy where I’m at, happy with the coach, management, front office, everybody. I haven’t been happy like this in years. It’s a good place for me."

The Celtics acquired Green in a much-scrutinized trade for Kendrick Perkins in February 2011. He missed the entire 2011-12 season after undergoing heart surgery, but returned to sign a four-year, $36.2 million contract in August 2012.

That contract includes a $9.2 million player option for the 2015-16 season. Green could elect to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason by declining the player option.

Green is averaging a career-high 18.4 points per game over 35.3 minutes in 12 appearances this season. Often criticized for his roller-coaster play, this may be Green's most consistent string of games in a Boston uniform.
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Jeff Green

Gamebook: Green seeks game legs

October, 15, 2014
10/15/14
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PORTLAND, Maine -- Jeff Green was receiving another dose of eye drops when reporters entered the Boston Celtics' locker room following Wednesday's 92-89 loss to the Toronto Raptors, but his orb was the least of his concerns.

[+] EnlargeJeff Green
Brian Babineau/Getty Images
Green is still trying to get his legs back after missing nearly two weeks of action, including the team's first four preseason games, due to a strained left calf. Green had some quality moments during Wednesday's game -- a two-handed slam on the game's first possession, among them -- but was still finding his way, and doing it with blurry vision after Toronto's Amir Johnson caught him with a swipe late in the first half.

"I’m good. I can see," Green said. "Just got real, real blurry when I got hit. But I’m good now. I got some drops. Took about 15-20 minutes for it to clear, but I’m [OK]. ...

"It feels good to be back on that floor. I was overanxious. Just happy to be out there, it’s moving too fast, I’m dead tired, but it’s going to take a couple games for me to get my legs up under me. Once I get my game legs, I’ll be good to go."

Green finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting to go along with five rebounds, a steal and an assist over 31 minutes, 29 seconds. He also turned the ball over three times.

"I thought he did OK," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I thought he was fine, physically. He got poked in the eye, and I think he’s fine. ... As far as in the rhythm of the offense, it was his first game. So we need to get him back and I’m glad he gets a couple exhibition games to get back."

Green started and spent most of the night at his typical small forward position, but did bounce to power forward spot at times. He downplayed the notion of having to relearn exactly how he fits into Boston's offense, particularly with all the team's new faces.

"Right now it’s just important for me to get in shape. I think that, for me, all I want to do is get in shape," Green said. "Get my game legs under me, this is my first game back, missed the first four games, haven't been able to practice for two weeks except the last day or two. I just want to get my legs up under me so I can stay on the floor and help my team out."

Before Wednesday's game, Stevens stressed how Green's additional time at power forward is geared toward helping undersized Boston create mismatches.

"It’s a lot less about Jeff and I think a lot more about how we can be unique," Stevens said. "I think we all know that to win in this league is really hard. ... I don’t think he’s going to play exclusively or most of the time [at power forward], but can you find time in the game when you’re unique to the opponent? And Jeff Green on offense can be unique to the opponent."

(Read full post)

Practice: Green in, Wallace out

October, 13, 2014
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- Ten days after straining his left calf during an intrsquad scrimmage, Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green returned to practice Monday and the team is hopeful that he can make his preseason debut during Wednesday's exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors.

Despite wearing a compression sleeve over his left calf and admitting he's not quite 100 percent yet, Green got up shots before the team's afternoon practice and said there would be no limitations as he returned to basketball activities. Green, who played in every regular-season game the past two seasons, missed the team's first four exhibition games and expressed frustration at not being on the court.

"It’s been really tough," he said. "I’d rather be out on the court playing, but I’ve got to take care of my body first."

Green's absence has allowed newcomer Evan Turner to make a strong case for minutes, maybe even a starting role, while filling in at the small forward position. Celtics coach Brad Stevens has acknowledged competition for a couple of rotation roles, particularly as the team deals with injuries, but said the bottom line is that both Green and Turner will play heavy roles this season.

"I’ve given lots of thought to [the lineups]," Stevens said. "Jeff’s going to play most of his minutes, or maybe just over half of his minutes, at [small forward]. But he’ll also play some [power forward]. I think Evan has to play. Whether that’s starting or coming off the bench or whatever, Evan can get into the paint. That’s a huge critical thing for our team."

Asked about playing more power forward this season, Green said, "As long as I’m on the floor, that’s all that matters." Green said he envisions playing with Turner at times and said positions won't change the way he plays.

INJURY REPORT: WALLACE (KNEE) OUT THIS WEEK

Celtics veteran swingman Gerald Wallace underwent an MRI Sunday that revealed a bone bruise in his knee. After sitting out Saturday's game against the Knicks, he's expected to miss both of this week's preseason games as well.

"We were going to sit him anyway on Saturday and, actually, he mentioned it to [trainer] Ed [Lacerte] in the pregame ... he has a little knee swelling," said Stevens. "So they did an MRI [Sunday], he’s got a small bone bruise. So he’s going to be out, definitely the two games this week and I think he’s looking at it week-to-week right now."

The Celtics have been thin on available swingmen. Rookie James Young strained his left hamstring before the team's exhibition opener and is still considered week-to-week. "James Young is the same," Stevens said. "Progressing well, but still probably a week away."

Rajon Rondo (hand) was on the court before the team's practice, his left hand in a black wrap, dribbling and shooting. Stevens said recently that there's been no change in the team's initial 6-8 week timeline despite Rondo's involvement in non-contact drills.

Asked about his team's rash of injuries early in the preseason, Stevens didn't beg for sympathy.

"I think it’s just part of it," Stevens said before referencing injuries to the likes of Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. "You look across the league and there are guys that are hurt, and there’s guys that have to be ready at the end of your bench. I’m going to start to talk to guys about where they fit in the rotation this week, probably after the two games this week, but our [players in roster spots] 11, 12 and 13 have to ready because that’s just the way this league works."

BACK TO WORK

After playing four games in six nights to start the exhibition season, the Celtics took Sunday off. A reporter jokingly asked Stevens if he took the opportunity to go apple picking, knowing full well the second-year coach spent much of his day prepping for the week ahead.

"I had a great day; we all had a great day," said Stevens. "It was a long first week and it was almost like, ‘Hey, if you’re not ready for this, we’re going to get you ready for this.’ We’re glad to be back at work today in the practice gym for at least two days, then get back on the bus again Wednesday."

The Celtics will play Wednesday's game against the Raptors in Portland, where their D-League affiliate the Maine Red Claws are based. But there are two days of practice first to fix what ailed Boston after consecutive losses to finish the first week of exhibition play at 2-2.

"Our focus is going to be on some of the things we need to clean up from Friday and Saturday’s games," Stevens said. "Then continue to install more from an offensive standpoint at the right pace.

"One of the things I try to do is throw a lot at them the first two days [of camp], then I haven’t done a lot in terms of new stuff over the last week or so because I wanted them to get better at that. I think we’ve done a lot of good things offensively; I’m not overly concerned about Saturday['s loss] because we played different lineups than we’ve played and [rookie] Dwight Powell hasn’t played [small forward] in practice and he’s played it in two games. That's just part of it. But now that we’re getting more bodies on the court, or at least we've got Jeff back on the court, I think we can start to add more."
Tags:

Jeff Green

Practice: Frustrated Green sits again

October, 9, 2014
10/09/14
4:55
PM ET
Boston Celtics swingman Jeff Green expressed frustration Thursday with a lingering calf strain that will keep him off the floor until next week.

Green injured himself during the team's intrasquad scrimmage on Friday and has not resumed basketball activities. Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters Thursday in Toronto that Green will likely be sidelined until at least Monday.

That means Green will miss the team's first four exhibition games. After appearing in every regular-season game the past two seasons, Green vented about having to take it slow with this injury.

“After not missing any games the last couple of years, just missing practice, it sucks," Green said, according to the team's website. "I want to be out there on the floor. I want to be playing, doing anything involving basketball, any type of movement."

Added Green: "I’ve never been a guy who sits still for too long, so this is kind of killing me right now."

The team initially hoped Green would be back on the court earlier this week, but he hasn't recovered enough from the injury.

Said Stevens: "I think the key is for Jeff to utilize this time to get fully healthy and kind of see the spots where when he comes back, he can even add to us."

Green's absence has meant additional reps for newcomer Evan Turner, who has started the past two games at small forward and shown an ability to impact the game in multiple ways while filling up his entire stat line.

What happens when Green returns?

"I don’t know yet," said Stevens. "We’ll see. I really like the way our wings and guards are playing."
Tags:

Jeff Green

Camp fires: Green, Smart sit out Sunday

October, 5, 2014
10/05/14
1:35
PM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics returned to the practice floor Sunday, but with thinned numbers as minor injuries in the early portion of training camp have sidelined some more top names.

Both Jeff Green (calf) and rookie Marcus Smart (groin) were expected to sit out Sunday's afternoon practice and coach Brad Stevens dubbed them both questionable for Monday's exhibition opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Green strained his left calf during Friday's intrasquad scrimmage. He was on the floor before Sunday's session getting up shots and Stevens stressed it's not a long-term concern.

"I would say [Green is] questionable at best [Monday] night, but no long-term [issue]," Stevens said. "There's no need to start the season with a lingering injury. ... We want to be really careful with that because we want him to get back to 100 percent with any muscular issues right now."

Stevens said Smart "has a little bit of a strained groin. He’s not going to practice today. I don’t really know, he’s between questionable or probable [for Monday], however you want to say it."

The Celtics already have been operating without point guard Rajon Rondo (hand), taking away three players pegged for top rotation spots this season. What's more, Vitor Faverani (knee) was expected to sit out again on Sunday as he battles swelling from camp activity.

Brandon Bass suffered a corneal abrasion in Friday's scrimmage, but was set to practice Sunday. He joked of the injury that, "I got a rebound. A minute later, Kelly [Olynyk] went for the rebound and poked me in my eye."

The Celtics also will have Joel Anthony available as he was expected to engage in his first full practice after being limited by a groin strain at the start of camp.

Do injuries set the Celtics back this time of year?

"[The injured players are] going to have to learn through watching, they are going to learn through film," Stevens said. "They are going to have to be out here and be ready to hit the ground running when they get back on the court. That’s on our staff, it’s on our assistant coaches, it’s on them as individuals."

But Stevens stressed he can't downshift much because of missing players.

"I'll back off the timeline a little bit, might make a drill a jog-through instead of a full-contact drill, but we've got to use this day as another growing and building day," Stevens said. "And the guys that are on the court have to get better. And the guys that aren’t have got to watch and be ready to hit the ground running."

With eyes toward Monday's exhibition opener, Stevens said that Smart will start at point guard if he is healthy enough to go, while Evan Turner would start if the rookie can't suit up.

Some loose balls from Sunday's media access:

Film review: Intrasquad scrimmage: Stevens spent Saturday's off-day dissecting film from Friday's intrasquad scrimmage. What did he find? "Some good, some bad. The good news is that, on film, there’s a lot to like. And there’s a lot to teach off of. When someone does really well, that usually means that somebody else on your team did pretty poorly, so that’s the problem with intrasquad scrimmages. ... I think it’s easy to overreact to guys scoring and doing that type of thing, and I think we had some really good performances that wouldn’t be found on a stat sheet. We’re still in mix-and-match stage, there’s no question about it. But we had a couple guys that really impacted winning and to me that’s really the most important thing." Stevens praised second-year big man Kelly Olynyk's efforts on both ends of the court Friday and said, "I thought he was one of our best players on the court the other night and has been in practice as well."

Young's smooth stroke: Rookie James Young has a pretty looking left-handed shot and put together a sequence in Friday's second scrimmage in which he made consecutive 3-pointers (turning the back end into a four-point play after being fouled). Stevens was asked about his smooth stroke. "That’s his deal. He shoots it easy. In college, even at the 3-point line, his shot didn’t look like there was any effort going into it. He’s a smooth, smooth shooter. He’s just going to get better and, when his footwork is consistent, he’s a lights-out shooter." Stevens did caution that "[Young has to] continue to grow in the other areas, I think everybody gets excited because he hits a couple 3s in a row, but he’s still got a ways to go. But to his credit he’s working hard to get there quicker."

Deep talk: Staying behind the arc, Stevens was asked how the Celtics could improve their 3-point shooting this season as a team. "I think that’s a combination of guys that have to get in the gym and make themselves better shooters, and putting guys in position and groups that maybe space the court better than others," Stevens said. "I like the idea that we’ve got a couple of different guys now that can get you to the paint off the dribble. That helps free up opportunities for our shooters and most of the 3-pointers that we made the other day were off the extra pass or off an inside-out play. That’s a good thing. You’re trying to get great step-in 3-point shots, and hey, we said it last year, our bigs struggled to shoot from a percentage standpoint, but they looked good shooting it. They’re good shooters and I think they are getting better doing that."

Daniels visiting: Marquis Daniels, who spent three seasons in Boston, visited the team on Sunday. The 33-year-old did not find an NBA job last season and is touring a handful of teams with eyes toward a potential future in coaching.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Isaiah Thomas
PTS AST STL MIN
20.1 5.4 0.7 26.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsI. Thomas 5.4
StealsM. Smart 1.3
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7