Philadelphia 76ers: Wait, there’s a secret suitor for Danny Green?

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Danny Green knows a thing or two about being traded.

Since being named to the NBA’s All-Defense team in 2017, Green has been traded four times, from the San Antonio Spurs to the Raptors, from Toronto to the Lakers, from Los Angeles to the Thunder – for about an hour and a half – and finally from OKC to the City of Brotherly Love, where he currently dons the number 14 jersey of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Fun fact: Green has never played for a team with a losing record at any point in his 12 year NBA career. It’s both very improbable and also very cool.

So naturally, considering Green has been traded again and again and again, he’d be used to it when his name comes up in conversations both during the offseason and in the lead-up to the NBA trade deadline, right? One would assume it almost comes with the territory of being a rotational starter on a medium-sized contract, right?

Well, in 2021, that most certainly is the case.

Because the Sixers are over the cap and won’t be able to sign free agents for anything other than the vet minimum and the mid-level exception at any point in the near future, Green’s $15 million contract is almost essential in landing any of the big-name targets the team has been linked to over the past few weeks; players like Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, and Malcolm Brogdon.

But what if I were to tell you there’s a “secret suitor” who would like to add Green to their roster should he become available later this week if traded to a non-contender? Could such a suitor actually help make a Sixers trade package all the more enticing?

Well, if you believe Brian Windhorst, which you really should, that very much may be the case.

Could the Philadelphia 76ers re-route Danny Green to help facilitate a trade?

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On the most recent edition of his “Hoops Collective” podcast – a must-listen for any NBA fan that you can check out here – Brian Windhorst let it slip in conversation with Kevin Arnovitz and attorney to the (NBA) stars, Alex Spiro, that there very well may be a “secret suitor” who could swoop in and try to land Danny Green in a potential three-team deal if he’s traded to a team like the Toronto Raptors who don’t expect to contend before the 33-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season.

While Windhorst only mentioned his reporting in passing and explicitly avoided naming names to avoid putting anyone on blast, the idea that Green could be re-routed to another contender to potentially net a team additional assets is a concept that’s never been seriously considered in any reported trade talks to my knowledge and presents an interesting option to both the Sixers and their potential trade partners.

Plus, it adds a certain air of mystery to the typical trade deadline menagerie that makes the team’s goings-on all the more exciting. Who could it be? The Atlanta Hawks have been looking around at veteran guards to help bolster their chances to make it into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Could they attempt to ship out a future pick and/or a young player to steal away Green from a team like the Raptors? That certainly makes some sense.

Let’s read through Windhorst’s actual quote and look for some additional clues.

"“(The Sixers) have the option, they could trade a guy like Danny Green, and I’m saying this because I know there are other teams who are interested in this, (though) I’m not going to reveal who, but I know of a team that really wants Danny Green and would like to get in on a three-team Philly-Toronto trade if they could. They would get Danny Green and they could send assets that could end up in Toronto as part of this type of deal.”"

Spoken like a true reporter. No deeper context, no real clues.

So, assuming this is the case and a team like the Raptors could further cash in on Green and get additional assets from another team, how does that help the Philadelphia 76ers? A lot, actually.

Assuming the Sixers decide to engage in a bidding war with a team like the Miami Heat for Kyle Lowry, knowing that Green’s contract could actually serve as a positive asset alongside players like Tyrese Maxey (more on him here), the team’s 2021 first-round pick, and additional draft picks down the line could actually help to sway the Raptors in Philly’s direction, a development very few expected heading into the deadline.

Next. Just trade for Norman Powell; it’s not that hard. dark

Granted, every player the Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to so far won’t require Green’s contract to get it done, as both Lonzo Ball and Norman Powell could be had in the $10-11 million range. There is a very real world where Green wakes up Thursday morning, goes through his pre-game routine, and then plays for the Sixers on Thursday night in his triumphant return to Los Angeles to play against his former Lakers. If that happens, great, but just know that there is at least one team who would like to get their hands on the former UNC product “badly,” and that could help Daryl Morey land the type of deal he wants at the deadline. File this one under “interesting.”