Wizards 2018-19 roster outlook: Jeff Green to be key member of bench after returning home

Chase Hughes
NBC Sports Washington

With training camp starting later this month, we at NBC Sports are previewing the season for each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we look at Jeff Green....

Player: Jeff Green

Scroll to continue with content

Position: Small forward

Age: 32

2018-19 salary: $2.4 million

2017-18 stats: 78 G, 23.4 mpg, 10.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.4 bpg, 47.7 FG%, 31.2 3P%, 86.8 FT%, 52.0 eFG%, 115 ORtg, 114 DRtg

2018-19 storyline: The Wizards had been eerily quiet through the first two days of free agency this summer as others around the league made bold moves to change the NBA landscape. But on July 3, Washington agreed to a one-year minimum contract with Jeff Green, a favorite son of the D.C. region for his accomplishments at nearby Northwestern High School and then at Georgetown University.

Green was brought in to replace Mike Scott, who had departed to join the L.A. Clippers. On paper, it appears the Wizards did quite well for themselves. Scott was an important piece and will be difficult to replace. But Green can do many of the things Scott provided for the Wizards and will be paid about half of what Scott is earning in L.A. Those savings allowed Washington to make other moves in an offseason with few resources at their disposal within the NBA's salary cap.

Green comes to the Wizards after an eventful season with the Cavaliers. He played in the NBA Finals for the first time in his lone year running with LeBron James and was one of the few players besides James to make it through the entire, tumultuous season in Cleveland.

Though James and Kevin Love ran the show, Green had a significant role. He played over 23 minutes per game and started 13 times. For comparison, only six players on the Wizards averaged more playing time last season.

Green may have to accept a slightly decreased role in Washington, despite the fact he is joining a less-accomplished team. Scott, for instance, averaged 18.5 minutes per game in 2017-18, about five fewer than Green got with the Cavs.

That said, Green should be an important piece for the Wizards this season. He is the No. 2 power forward behind Markieff Morris and could get extra burn in small-ball lineups. He brings versatility on both ends of the floor and fits well into head coach Scott Brooks' stated goal of playing more positionless basketball.

Also helping Green's cause is his past history with Brooks going back to their days in Oklahoma City and Seattle. Brooks is well-aware of what Green brings to the table on the court and in the locker room.

Green's primary role may be to bring offense and athleticism to the second unit. While co-existing with two All-Stars and a revolving door of teammates, some more selfish than others, Green often made a big difference as a scorer for the Cavs. He scored 15 points or more 16 times last season, including seven games with 20 or more. He dropped 27 on the Rockets and 33 on the Sixers.

Green also had some blow-up games in the playoffs, including a 19-point outburst in a win over the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He reached double-figures three times in four games against the Raptors in the second round. That type of scoring boost off the bench can make the difference in a playoff series.

It's worth noting that Green is entering a contract year, like many of his teammates, which should present a unique dynamic on the roster this season. Green, however, is used to it having played each of the past three years on one-year deals. If anyone can compartmentalize the present and the future, it's him.

The biggest appeal for Wizards fans when it comes to Green, and vice versa, is the fact he is returning home. He made a name for himself by leading the Hoyas to the Final Four in 2007. Now he is back playing home games in the same arena.

Potential to improve: Three-point percentage, rebounding, forcing turnovers


What to Read Next