Report: Celtics near 4-year, $40 million to sign Jeff Green

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There was really not much question that once he recovered Jeff Green would return to the Celtics. Other teams were interested but all things being equal he wanted to be back in Boston, a team that kept him around after he was diagnosed with a heart problem that necessitated surgery and cost him all of last season.

The question was money. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports he’s going to get a lot of it. Too much if you ask me.

“I’m confident it’ll get done,” (Green’s agent David) Falk told SI.com of Green’s deal. “I guess (Boston) got (Brandon) Bass’ (contract) done, which is great. Jeff is trying to get a sense of what the team looks like first before he makes a commitment, but I expect he’ll be there and I expect it’ll be done by the 11th (when the free agency moratorium ends and deals can be formalized)….”

A source with knowledge of the talks said Green’s deal may be “in the neighborhood” of four years for $40 million, though the two sides are continuing talks.

That’s a lot of money for the young swingman and a gamble on Green’s game maturing. Green scored 15.1 points per game his last full season in in Oklahoma City but needed 13 shots to do it — he’s not very efficient. He’s a career 33.7 percent from three. He’s got all kinds of defensive potential but tends to not bring the effort on that end of the floor. He’s never had a PER above 14 (and the league average is 15). There are reasons the Thunder were willing to part with him. In his half a season with Boston he averaged 9.8 points per game but took 7.8 shots a game and hit 29 percent from three.

Green has the potential, the athleticism to live up to that contract, he is a good player who shows you flashes but needs his game to mature. If he does, this could be a good deal for the Celtics. But four years is a bit of a risk.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.