When Gerald Green received his first DNP-CD in two seasons with the Suns earlier this year, it wasn’t simply an aberration; it was a sign of things to come.
While trade rumors surfaced as a result of the decision at the time, the real reason for the move was that Green’s defense was no longer something that head coach Jeff Hornacek was willing to trust, especially if his shooting percentage was going to dip.
Green’s minutes and place in the rotation have been erratic ever since. And with free agency approaching this summer, that has led to growing uncertainty as to where Green may be playing next season.
“He never really seemed to get it going and then it comes to the point where, if you’re not scoring and if your defense isn’t picking up, it’s hard to stay in the game,” Hornacek said.
“The next guy is going, ‘I needed help here and the guy wasn’t here.’ We’re trying to develop something for the future, not just being out here for everybody to play in the game. We want to get to a top-notch winning level and you’ve got to do it on both sides.” …
“I want to be here but I just don’t know if they want me here,” Green said. “Because if you want somebody, you show them. I didn’t think I was playing that bad and now we’re here.”
Hornacek’s remarks are the most telling, and confirm the organization’s chosen direction that became evident after it sacrificed a chance at the playoffs this season in order to rid itself of players who were believed to be selfish.
It’s unclear if Green has been placed in a similar category, or if he simply is no longer getting the job done in the eyes of his coach Either way, it would appear that the end of Green’s days in Phoenix will coincide with the conclusion of the regular season.