Three years turned first into four, then five and then somehow made it all the way to six. Boston didn’t bring the Big Three together in 2007 because they wanted a six-year run at contending for championships. They brought them together to maybe win one or two, and then watch as the three future Hall of Famers rode off into the sunset. But that was before Kevin Garnett found a second wind, before Paul Pierce continued his “old man at the Y” act past the final credits and before Rajon Rondo turned into one of the best point guards in the NBA. Now, it’s all about improving on what was nearly a NBA Finals finish this year, so it’s no surprise one key ingrediant they missed in 2011-12 is coming back as well.
Remember when Jeff Green was a Celtic? He missed all of last season after having surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. He’s played all of 35 games in a Celtic uniform while the man he was traded for (Kendrick Perkins) has appeared in 119 of them with OKC. The only thing I can really remember about the short-lived Green-in-Boston era was a role player standing in the corner. But still, Green is one of the young and athletic assets Boston hopes will help merge the gap between the Big Three and what lies beyond.
And it sounds like his return is nearly a done deal.
The Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn tweeted earlier: “Agent David Falk said Jeff Green is ‘close’ to re-signing with the #celtics but deal is not done yet.”
Danny Ainge has maintained all along he expects Green to be back. Ainge even said recently that his top two objectives now are to bring back Ray Allen and Brandon Bass, virtually acknowledging Green is all but already in the fold.
Green struggled during his time in Boston at the end of 2010-11, averaging just 9.8 points (he was even worse in the playoffs: 7.3 a game). But he’s still extremely talented and versatile, and could desperately help because the things he does well (versatility, defending wings, backing up Paul Pierce) are all major weaknesses.
Green has yet to turn 26 years old, and while his impact will probably be minimized as he returns from missing an entire year, the Celtics realize this isn’t just about next year. Looking at the future, they need Jeff Green.
Will he make a difference this year?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.