Consider the Wizards 2-for-2 since striking out on Kevin Durant two off-seasons ago on convincing homegrown talent to return to the DMV. In the spring, they brought Ty Lawson on board for the playoffs, and this off-season the Wizards signed Jeff Green, fresh off an NBA Finals run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
OK. So, maybe neither fits the description of “game changer,” “all-star” or “generational player,” someone that pushes the Wizards over the top as a title contender, but Green’s addition does fill a need for Washington.
He’s a long, athletic forward who can switch multiple positions defensively and play small-ball power forward, or small forward in a regular lineup. His jump shot won’t be as consistent as Mike Scott’s was last season, but he’s more than capable of scoring the basketball and stretches the floor enough that defenses have to respect him.
Joining a second unit that presumably includes Tomas Satoransky, Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre Jr., Green won’t be asked to make plays. He can simply get in where he fits. Washington’s bench should be markedly better than it has been the last few seasons.
Green ranked 19th among small forwards last season in player efficiency, hovering right around league average – and that’s after having an underwhelming season from three. He compensated with a .477 overall field-goal percentage, easily the highest of his career. Green’s 14.8 PER was 38th among any player with forward versatility to have played at least 1,500 minutes last season, ahead of players like Jaylen Brown, Robert Covington, Oubre and Wizards starting power forward Markieff Morris.
This isn’t the sexy free agent splash that teams like the Lakers and Warriors have been able to make, but it is a move that will make Washington better next season.