They did it. The Lakers lured one of the league’s most coveted free agents from Toronto. That’s right: Danny Green is headed to Los Angeles!
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the 32-year-old shooting guard plans to sign a deal with the Lakers:
Free agent Danny Green plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. The Dallas Mavericks were also pursuing Green.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 6, 2019
Shortly after that, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the terms of the deal:
Free agent guard Danny Green will sign a two-year, $30M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Green is an excellent pick up for Los Angeles in the aftermath of Kawhi Leonard’s decision to sign with the LA Clippers for a few reasons.
For starters, he’s a lights-out 3-point shooter. Last season, Green shot a career-high 45.5 percent from behind the arc while attempting 5.6 3-pointers per game. The six other players to average at least 40 percent from 3-point range on at least five attempts per game were Joe Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Buddy Hield, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving and, of course, Stephen Curry. He’s among the best 3-point shooters in the NBA.
However, one thing he does better than all of the aforementioned 3-point marksmen is defend. This past season, Green posted a Defensive Real Plus-Minus of +2.16, which was the second-highest DRPM among shooting guards — trailing only Jimmy Butler — and the 42nd-highest in the NBA. He hasn’t posted a negative Defensive Box Plus-Minus since 2011.
Green definitely isn’t the elite talent Leonard is, but he’s still a good a fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and doesn’t need the ball to generate his offense. In fact, 60.2 percent of his shots were of the catch-and-shoot variety with the Raptors last season. Of those shots, he drained 47.2 percent of them, including 47.4 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.
Assuming Davis still intends to waive his trade kicker, the Lakers will have $17 million in cap space to fill out their bench. They will also have the room exception worth $4.72 million. It’s going to be interesting to see who else they sign to fill out their bench on the now-barren free agent market, but they’re off to a great start to making the best of the situation after missing out on Leonard.
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