Jeff Green is off to a strong start for the Celtics this season, leading the team in scoring with a career-best 18.4 points per game while appearing in a team-high 35.3 minutes per contest.
And executives around the league are beginning to take notice.
Green has a player option for $9.2 million next season, but will more than likely opt out to become an unrestricted free agent. While Rajon Rondo is the one in Boston whose name comes up most often as someone who will be playing elsewhere next year, at least one front office source believes that Green may have even more suitors.
A league executive told CSNNE.com on Saturday that the market for Green is as strong, “if not stronger”, than it is for Rajon Rondo, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“They’re two totally different players and their roles with a team are different, too,” he said. “But Green can do a lot of things to help just about any team, as long as you’re not making him the guy you build around. Green’s the guy you add to the guy you’re trying to build around.”
This actually makes a ton of sense.
Rondo is an All-Star point guard who is leading the league in assists, after injuries had derailed him significantly in each of the last two seasons. If he continues to perform at his current level, he’ll undoubtedly require a multi-year contract at or near the max.
Not only are there a limited number of teams that will have the dollars available under the salary cap to sign Rondo, but a commitment like that involves building the roster around him. Simply put, the fit (and choice to steer the franchise in that direction) is one that will have to be carefully considered, which may ultimately restrict just how many teams come calling with offers.
Green, however, is more versatile, will come at lower cost from a contract perspective, and can help in a greater variety of ways — all of which may make him a more attractive free agent option, despite the way it appears at first glance.