NBA Rumor: Jeff Green Free Agency

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Sixers interested in Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway and Jeff Green

What about Galloway’s Detroit Pistons teammate Luke Kennard or NBA free agent Jeff Green. Add those names to the list of wing players the Sixers have expressed interest in acquiring in a trade and/or free agent signees, according to multiple league sources. One source confirmed that Green worked for the Sixers in Miami while the team was there to face the Heat a couple of weeks ago.

In the hour before the Heat defeated Utah 107-104 at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Jazz traded point guard Dante Exum to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jordan Clarkson. In the moments following that defeat, the Jazz waived forward Jeff Green, sources told The Athletic. And in the moments following that, the Jazz signed shooting guard Rayjon Tucker to a guaranteed deal for the remainder of the season. The flurry of moves can be traced to one constant, according to league sources: The Jazz have not been happy with their bench play.

Utah loved Green’s professionalism, sources say. But, at this point, the Jazz wanted to clear minutes for Georges Niang because of his shooting and the threat it poses to opposing teams. The Jazz are also very happy with rookie Jarrell Brantley, according to sources. Brantley, a 6-foot-7 power forward, has been a significant force for the G League Salt Lake City Stars. He’s currently on a two-way deal. And while minutes with the Jazz aren’t imminent, the Jazz clearly see him as a potential rotation player at some point.

But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn’t offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards’ new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green’s defensive rating was 112.6. The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career.

The new-look Orlando Magic are hoping to get the Jeff Green that they got to see at his absolute best last season while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies. It was Jan. 25 of last season and Green proved to be a one-man wrecking crew for the Grizzlies in their 108-102 overtime defeat of the Magic in Memphis. With the Magic leading 100-96 in the final seconds, Green converted a dunk, stole the inbounds pass and hit a buzzer-beating jumper to send the game into OT. In the extra period, Green put the finishing touches on a 30-point, eight-rebound masterpiece that showed the allure that teams have looked for from him throughout his eight years in the NBA.

If the Clippers are unable to get Durant to agree to join the team, a move that would then trigger a flurry of other moves, they’ll turn their attention to their other top priority – re-signing their own free agents. With most of their salary cap – more than $70 million of it – going to Paul, Griffin, Jordan and Redick – the Clippers hope to keep their top three free agents – Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. The Clippers have “Bird rights” for Green and Crawford and “early Bird rights” for Rivers, enabling them to go over the salary cap to re-sign those players. The team also has interest in re-signing reserves Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson, though the fear is both players will be out of the Clippers’ price range once they hit the market. The Clippers will still meet with Aldrich, though. And just because the Clippers have the ability to pay Green, Crawford and Rivers, there are no guarantees they’re able to secure all three.

Doc Rivers would not get into specifics, other than to say his son is one of the players on the team he expects will “get deals this summer, and we’re hoping they’re here.” The salary cap is an issue. The Clippers — not including player options — have roughly $78 million in guaranteed contracts for 2016-17, when the cap is expected to rise to about $89 million. Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Jeff Green, Pablo Prigioni and Jeff Ayers are free agents and Cole Aldrich and Wes Johnson have player options, so there are those considerations.

Green is open about his desire to stay in Memphis long-term and re-sign with the team next summer if the sides can come to terms. However, the forward also understands the business side of things and the fact that nine months (until free agency) is an eternity when it comes to roster decisions. “It’s too far [away] for me to think about,” Green said on his upcoming free agency. “You just have to take it one game at a time. If we do what we have to do and win, everything will take care of itself. My main approach is to continue to be Jeff Green, continue to be aggressive and more consistent. Then, everything will fall into place next summer.”
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