Danny Green and Daryl Morey talk candidly about NBA trade deadline

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Noah Levick
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Green and Morey talk candidly about deadline-day drama originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Danny Green thought he might need to wait a bit longer.

Dwight Howard and himself were scheduled to receive their 2019-20 Lakers championship rings last Thursday before the Sixers’ game that night in Los Angeles. If he was traded before the 3 p.m. ET deadline, though, it would be a solo ceremony for Howard.

Green, who has a $15.4 million salary this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agency, was hearing he could be on the move. 

He discussed his trade deadline experience with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey on the latest “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green” podcast. Below is a portion of that conversation, which will air Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia: 

Morey: “People told me that you thought you were getting traded yesterday, and I want to ask if that’s the case. The reality is I would’ve given you a heads up. There are times when it’s hard — a team calls three minutes before the deadline and shocks you, and it comes together. But those are pretty rare. I would’ve given you a heads up if it had gotten close. But I’m actually curious if you went into the day feeling like, OK, oh my goodness, it’s happening.”

Green: “ … You weren’t on this trip so I didn’t see you, you weren’t around. Most of you guys (in the front office) weren’t around.”

Morey: “All of us were here, yeah.”

Green: “I got my agent, people talking, heads up. I thought it was a possibility it would happen, so I wasn’t sure. I figured you might, but sometimes it might not happen. So many things happen so fast. Like (head coach Doc Rivers) was saying, during these times it’s almost impossible to get to a player first before the media gets it.”

Morey: “Yeah, with (ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski), everything, it’s hard at times. There have been times I haven’t been able to, and I hate when that happens. But I would’ve liked to have told you early. I hate that you went through it.”

Green: “I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t frustrated. I felt very comfortable where we were. I didn’t think we were going to make any major changes, because we are doing pretty well. If I was really frustrated or stressed, I think you would’ve seen it in my play in the Golden State or in the Lakers game. I just thought whatever happens, happens, but I think we’re in a good spot. I think we’re going to hang on to most people; I think a lot of it is just talks.”

Morey: “That’s a big factor people don’t get. When you’re No. 1 in the East and playing at a very high level, a trade requires people to go out, not just in.”

As Morey said, prodigious national newsbreakers like Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania are known for their deadline-day work. It’s a factor to consider for executives trying to handle rapidly developing negotiations while also being respectful to the people they’re possibly sending to a new city. 

Ultimately, Morey and the Sixers decided to make a single deal before the deadline, acquiring George Hill (and Ignas Brazdeikis) in a three-team trade with the Knicks and Thunder. Green will be a Sixer for at least another half of a season.

He got his ring, scored 28 points in the Sixers’ win over the Lakers, and was able to laugh about it all at the end of a long day. 

“It was kind of comical, just thinking about it," he said that night. “I don’t panic, I don’t worry, I don’t stress. I’ve been in this game long enough, I’ve been around the league long enough to know how the business goes. Whatever happens, happens. I just make the best of it and let the chips fall where they may. But I was one week away from receiving my Toronto ring. I still have yet to get that one, so it’ll be two years now. 

“ ... I might’ve had to wait another whole year. If it would’ve happened, it would’ve been a comical (but) not so comical thing. But I’m glad I'm here and I’m glad I got a chance to receive my ring. Obviously it was a lot of fun; it was a special night. I had to wait a while. Like I said, there’s another one that I still haven’t gotten yet. But it’s a beautiful, beautiful piece. I got a chance to see some of my brothers, compete against them — some of my old family. Nothing more special than to come out with a win. Our guys helped me through it, they got through it and I appreciate them.”