While the headlines mainly centered around Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan in the blockbuster trade that happened last week, it’s worth noting that Danny Green was also involved.
Most likely for financial reasons (matching salaries), Green was sent packing from the city that he called home for eight seasons.
Coming off of a campaign in which he averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest, the 30-year-old shooting guard’s ability to impact the game defensively is his best ability at this point in his career.
Since he has the athleticism and length to guard multiple positions, he will presumably fit in well in Toronto and even has a solid shot at starting.
Overall, he believes that he and Leonard can help get Toronto over the hump.
“It’s a great team. They were No. 1 in the East, and me and Kawhi, we could do something special there. It’s a really nice city,” he said on the debut episode of his “Inside The Green Room” podcast, per Steven Loung of Sportsnet. “Obviously, it’s a little colder weather and some taxes might be tough, but it’s closer to home and just a really good team in the East.”
Getting over the hump
“I think me and Kawhi, and the tandem we’ve been and can continue to be – we’re not old yet – we can be a huge plus and, hopefully, bring this team the next level that they’re looking to be,” he said.
Since he has Finals experience and is an NBA champion, Green believes he can instantly provide leadership in Toronto.
“I’m gonna do my job, do my part and work my butt off to be the best that I can be, but also make our team the best it can be. It’s not just about one individual when it comes to this. When the team wins, everybody wins, and I think that’s my biggest part in this play, is to get Kawhi on board, and to get the rest of those young guys on board and let ‘em know how to become a championship team. I’ve been to the Finals a couple times – so has Kawhi – it’s our job to help those guys get to that stage and, hopefully, make something special so regardless if I’m starting or not, I’m trying to be the best pro I can be,” Green added.
Overall, he’s excited about the team as a whole, particularly on the defensive front.
“I think we have the chance to do something really special. We’ve got a pretty good frontcourt, and our backcourt as well,” the veteran explained. “Defensively, I think we could be monsters, I think, with me, Kawhi, Serge, Valanciunas, OG – he’s a young guy coming up – but I think that’s where it starts. On the defensive end. And, obviously, Kyle, is our all-star point guard, everybody forgets about how good that guy is. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but we’ve been cool over the years. Played against each other growing up. … That guy was a monster, he still is a monster, he can hoop.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Toronto will contend in the LeBron-less Eastern Conference, but it’s important to remember that Green could make a important contributions alongside Leonard.