NBA Rumor: Danny Green Free Agency

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Danny Green is very interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers because of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Green said on his Inside The Green Room podcast that signing with the Lakers makes a lot sense because of the appeal of their new duo of James and Davis. The two-time NBA champion is also intrigued by the recent moves made by the Lakers towards building a team that will strongly contend for a title next season. “It speaks for itself,” Green said of the Lakers having James and Davis starting next season. “And they’ve got other good pieces. Kuzma. They signed Jared Dudley, Troy Daniels, some shooters. And when you’ve got those two guys, you know the sky is the limit.”

Free agent guard Danny Green might not wait for Kawhi Leonard’s decision before securing a new contract this summer. Green reportedly has the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Toronto Raptors on his short list of possible destinations. It is widely believed that he is waiting if Kawhi will stay in Toronto or sign with the Lakers before making a decision. But with Leonard remaining mum on his future, Green is reportedly considering signing with the Mavs. Green’s Inside The Green Room co-host Harrison Sanford said on the Ben & Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan that the two-time NBA champion “really valued what the Mavs have put in front of him.” And because of the lack of signs on where Leonard intends to ink a deal, Green is reportedly leaning towards making a decision soon. “Danny’s gotten to the point where he’s seriously considering passing on waiting for Kawhi to make a decision,” Sanford said. “He has to take care of himself. He plays in the NBA and he’s very cognizant as all players are of what’s out there on the market for him and for players like him.”

Danny Green: If Toronto brings everyone back, I think we have a really good shot of coming out of the East again. So why would I not want to be there? But things change and things move. If the Raptors can’t bring everyone back, there are going to be other teams who are in the running and I want to see what those situations are. Obviously, I want to maximize on the dollar, but I also want to maximize on the situation. I know I’m not an All-Star or star player, but I want to be remembered as a great role player who won a lot of games and leave my mark in the league.

Have you had any conversations with Toronto about your future? Danny Green: Yeah, at exit interviews, we all talked. We discussed some stuff. I spoke to the front office a little bit and I talked to the coaches. Why would you want to break something up that is not broken and just won ? I think their idea – their plan – is to try to bring everyone back. But if that doesn’t happen, because it’s not as easy as it sounds, I’ll have to wait for some guys to make a decision. When those decisions happen, then I think they can move forward with their plans.

Do you have any preference in terms of the length of the deal that you will sign? Danny Green: This is the time where I’m getting older now, so I think I probably want to get as many years as possible. Because as I get even older, I don’t think there will be many teams offering me that kind of longevity or as much money. I think this is the time where I need to maximize the dollars on the longest amount of years that I can do. I would definitely love to get four years, ideally. But, obviously, I’m 32 years old now, so some teams may not want to offer a four-year deal. But I’d love a three-year or four-year deal.

Do you follow all of the free-agency rumors or do you just let your agent handle everything and update you periodically? Danny Green: I let my agent update me occasionally. I don’t believe anything until I hear it from my agent or unless I’m contacted directly by a team that’s interested. The updates are obviously out there and anytime someone signs somewhere, everywhere wants to tell you who’s going where. And I do think it’s interesting. But when it comes to me and my free agency, I don’t believe rumors unless someone contacts my agent or contacts me.

As a pending free agent himself, however, Green acknowledged that it’s difficult to be definitive about anything else until Leonard decides whether to stay or go. “I don’t know,” Green said, insisting that he has no insider intel on Leonard’s plans even though they played together in San Antonio and became Raptors together when the Spurs dispatched them to Canada via trade on July 18, 2018. “He may not know, but I don’t know, either. I’m probably more confused or more up in the air than he is.”

What do you prioritize heading into free agency? Danny Green: I just want to continue to be in a place where I can stay on this high, winning games and being successful so if I can find a place or be in a place — which hopefully is here — and continue to be successful and win and be competitive each year, that’s exactly what I wanna do. That’s been part of my M.O. and I want that to continue to be part of my brand, winning and try to be one of those guys that help teams win championships. One of the glue guys.

The Knicks have declared their need to add more shooters and defenders. Hello, Danny. Green, who spends his offseasons on Long Island, did not grow up a Knicks fan and is trying not to think too far ahead. “Last thing on our minds,’’ Green said. “We’re worried about winning some games and coming out with a ring would be nice. The [Knicks] reached out [in 2015] and sent a text. My deal [four-year, $40 million] was done so fast I was pretty much only talking to them. It happened so fast. I was barely a free agent. I knew we had a good crew coming back and felt I had a good chance of winning again.”

While Green and Leonard came as a package, there is no guarantee they remain one after this season. Both former Spurs are heading into free agency this summer and while Green is open to anything, last summer proved anything can happen. “Obviously we don’t know what’s going to happen after this year,” he said. “I would love to still be here (with the Raptors), obviously, but we don’t know. We don’t know where [Leonard’s] going to be, we don’t know a lot of things (that) are going to happen. “In terms of decision making, (Leonard’s future) affects everybody.”

“If [Leonard] stays they might want to bring everybody back, if he leaves they might want to change, who knows?” Green said. “We’re both grown, we can make our own decisions for our own families. We might sit down and talk about it to see what page he’s on and how he feels about something and how I feel, but at this point we’re not thinking about that or talking about it. We’re trying to play good basketball… and get everybody healthy and winning games. “Hopefully at the end of the year we can celebrate somethings, outside of free agency.”

The Toronto Raptors are understandably focused on doing everything in their power to show why Kawhi Leonard should stay with the franchise beyond the 2018-19 season. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that the other San Antonio player Masai Ujiri acquired in the trade that sent DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick the other way is also a free agent this coming summer. Danny Green has become a crucial piece of the puzzle for the 21-7 Toronto Raptors, leading the league in individual net rating at plus-17.2 courtesy of some excellent defence and shooting a team-best 42.7 per cent from beyond the arc.

The 31-year-old is looking much like the player who had a significant role to play in the Spurs’ back-to-back NBA Finals runs in 2013 and 2014, and hinted that he’d very much like to be back in Toronto beyond this season on Sunday. “They figure if they keep Kawhi, then they can keep me, I guess,” Green said when making an appearance on Bleacher Report’s The Full 48 podcast. “You don’t have to keep him to have me.”

Though playing out the final year with no security beyond next season was something Green contemplated, passing up on $10 million next season, in what is expected to be a tight market this summer, is a risk as well. League sources told the Express-News that Green might not attract another $10 million per year deal if he opts out but something in the $5-8 million range, with most teams likely offering the mid-level exception (projected at roughly $8.6 million for non-taxpaying teams; approximately $5 million for taxpaying teams).

You have a roughly $10 million player option for next season. Will you decide on that option once you return from Japan or is it already decided? Danny Green: I’m taking some time. I don’t know what the decision is going to be. It depends on the feedback I get from my agent and what I get back from the organization. I think they are taking some time as well to take a breath because so much has gone with the organization outside of the players with Pop (Gregg Popovich) and the draft stuff is going on. There is a lot to be processed and taken into account on both sides. Not just the player’s side but the organizational side.

You have a roughly $10 million player option for next season. Will you decide on that option once you return from Japan or is it already decided? Danny Green: “I’m taking some time. I don’t know what the decision is going to be. It depends on the feedback I get from my agent and what I get back from the organization. I think they are taking some time as well to take a breath because so much has gone with the organization outside of the players with Pop (Gregg Popovich) and the draft stuff is going on. There is a lot to be processed and taken into account on both sides. Not just the player’s side but the organizational side.”

Is a long-term deal something you’re hoping to seek with the Spurs? Danny Green: “That’s always an option. Long-term is always the key to being in the NBA as long as you can. The market is not what it was. Last summer, the money wasn’t thrown out there as much as it was. That has to be taken into account for everybody. But I think longevity is the key for must guys especially for guys that are getting older. … But there is a lot of options that come into play and (a long-term deal) has crossed my mind.”

Spurs free agent shooting guard Danny Green is back from vacation in Brazil and agreeable to a meeting with his hometown Knicks. Green, the Babylon, Long Island native, said just having Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher leading the charge is enough to listen. “For sure – anybody turning down a meeting with them would be crazy,’’ Green said Tuesday night on Alan Hahn’s ESPN Radio show in the hours leading into the free-agency period. “It starts with them and Melo as well.’’
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