Philadelphia 76ers: Three cheers for Danny Green’s return

Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

As it turns out, Danny Green had 20 million reasons to return to the Philadelphia 76ers.

After expressing dissatisfaction with how fans in the City of Brotherly Love react when their favorite team struggles and being linked to pretty much every other contending team around the NBA as a result, DG14 has officially decided to bring his talents back to Philly on a two-year, $20 million deal.

The move, signed using Green’s Early-Bird right, keeps the Sixers under the hard cap – thanks to the waiving of George Hill and Georges Niang signing to an exception – and allows Daryl Morey the optionality to continue to attack, rebuilding his roster however he pleases, within the confines of the salary cap, of course.

But now? Now the Philadelphia 76ers can sit back, relax, and know they are returning with one of the best starting lineups in the NBA from the 2020-21 season, a fact Morey was quick to point out on his Twitter.

Danny Green’s return unquestionably makes the Philadelphia 76ers better.

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While he wasn’t cheap to acquire – though that may have more to do with getting off of Al Horford‘s contract – it’s hard to overestimate just how impactful Danny Green’s run was with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2020-21.

An every game starter who appeared in all but three of the team’s regular season games, Green was the quintessential 3-and-D winger for the Sixers last season, where he split time between the two and the three.

Was Green perfect? No. He’s not quite as fast as he once was and struggled to keep up with guards like Trae Young when tasked with covering him one-on-one, but when situationally deployed in a platoon either next to Ben Simmons, or Matisse Thybulle – or even both – Green served as a vital two-way cog in one of the better Sixers lineups we’ve seen around these parts in the last decade.

Did the 2020-21 version of the Sixers’ lineup quite stack up to the high-water mark of 2018-19? Goodness no, the team would be hard-pressed to ever have such top-end star power again, but when you consider the Sixers were trotting out a starting lineup of Ish Smith, Jason Richardson, JaKarr Sampson, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Nerlens Noel just six years ago, rolling with Green, Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid is not too shabby at all.

With Green back in the fray, Thybulle can return to his role as a defensive specialist coming off the bench without any added pressure on the offensive end of the court. They can also count on Green as a two-way performer in the waning moment of a tight game, where offense-for-defense substitutions become hard to come by in low-timeout situations.

Remember, Green led the league for much of the 2020-21 season in made corner 3s and was the Sixers’ second-most effective shooter from beyond the arc on more than 6.3 attempts per game. In a league where shooting is rewarded with goofy money, the fact that the Sixers were actually able to land Green for a bargain according to ProFitX is pretty gosh darn impressive.

See what I mean? Scoring Green for $6 million a year less than his fair market value is nothing to sneeze at.

Next. Everyone’s getting better but the Sixers. dark

So Danny Green, welcome back to Philly. While you haven’t always seen eye to eye with our fair city’s time-honored tradition of tough love, something tells me you will be cheered like a hero the next time you take the hallowed court of the Wells Fargo Center. How Philadelphia 76ers fans will react after a string of losses or in a game where you go 0-7 from beyond the arc, however, I can not guarantee. But hey, that’s just how the City of Brotherly Love operates, no one likes us, but we don’t care.