Philadelphia 76ers: Hey Los Angeles Lakers, thanks for Danny Green

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Danny Green has a unique NBA career.

On one hand, he’s only averaged double-digit points in three of his 12 professional seasons, has as many seasons with a sub-40 3 point shooting percentage as a plus-40, and has the rare distinction of having won three different championships on three different teams without having ever been signed to a contract worth more than $40 million over four years.

Then again, Green is one of the NBA’s good guys that every team would love to have as a fifth starter or 3-and-D wingman coming off the bench… except for one team.

That’s right, after being an instrumental part of their first championship win since 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers felt Green was more valuable as a trade chip than as an on-court contributor and opted to flip the former Cavalier/Spur/Raptor to NBA Siberia Oklahoma City to waste away the final year of his contract on a team looking to turn their attention to the future in a two-for-one trade for Dennis Schroder.

Fortunately, Daryl Morey saw an opportunity, ran with it, and the Philadelphia 76ers landed a perfectly complementary piece for their current starting lineup, all for the price of some picks, the rights to Vasilije Micić, and Al Horford’s massive contract.

Considering the Lakers just dropped their fourth game in six tries to the Phoenix Suns and will officially be starting their summer vacation early, maybe moving on from Green wasn’t the best idea after all.

Danny Green has been just what the Philadelphia 76ers ordered.

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In 2020-21, Danny Green made 175 3-pointers for the Philadelphia 76ers.

While that number isn’t particularly impressive in the grand scheme of the NBA, as 17 other players accomplished the same feat or better in as many games, it made Green only the fourth Sixers player in the last decade to accomplish that feat; joining a rather … unique club alongside J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, and funny enough, Isaiah Canaan.

Even at the tender age of 34, Green is still a plus wing defender from either the shooting guard or small forward position and actually leads the Sixers in defensive real plus/minus despite playing alongside three of the best defenders the NBA has to offer in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Matisse Thybulle.

Fun fact: Green’s 3.67 DRPM ranks eight overall league-wide, with the next Sixer, Embiid, coming in at 17th overall with a 2.98.

If that’s all Green brought to the table – 9.5 points, good defense, and 2.5 made 3s a game – it would be enough to call his addition as a fifth starter an unquestioned success and a fit upgrade over both Al Horford and Josh Richardson, but fortunately, that wasn’t the case.

No, Green has also brought a sense of grandiose, gravitas, and a wickedly charismatic locker room presence that has been as valuable as anything else to a team looking to take the next step from plucky upstarts just happy to make to the dance to legitimate title contenders who aren’t too small for the moment.

Whether on the bench or in the starting lineup, Green is seemingly always cracking jokes and giving advice to his teammates, and as the team’s fourth oldest player, he brings a wealth of experience to young guards looking to find their NBA footing. Matisse Thybulle has praised Green’s helpfulness, as has Furkan Korkmaz, and the 11th year veteran’s hardnosed defense has seemingly also rubbed off on Tyrese Maxey too, as he’s been playing Green-ian defense all playoffs long.

Even if Green’s best days are behind him, his impact on this iteration of the Sixers is undeniable.

Next. Ben Simmons has unlocked Tyrese Maxey’s potential. dark

So Los Angeles Lakers, thank you so very much for flipping Danny Green to the OKC Thunder, as it allowed the Philadelphia 76ers to swoop in and snag the three-time champion when he otherwise wouldn’t have been available. While Green may not possess the flash and perceived “star power” of Dennis Schroder, he’s been a perfect fit for what Doc Rivers likes to do and has paid dividends far greater than his stat line. But something tells me you already knew that, as you did just win a championship with Green as an everyday starter, so you get it.