It was no secret the Pacers needed to add a scoring wing to their bench. The bench faltered badly in the playoffs, and besides the resigning of Roy Hibbert and George Hill, this was the biggest need to address during the offseason. After being linked to OJ Mayo, Courtney Lee, and Louis Williams the past few weeks it looks like the Pacers have settled on signing Gerald Green of the Brooklyn Nets. Green is not exactly a household name in the NBA. He only started in 2 games last season for the lowly Nets, and in fact he was in the D-League at the beginning of last season. Green was once a heralded prospect that came straight out of high school to the NBA, but struggled mightily his first few seasons. Before you write this off as a bad signing, take a look at his statistics last season compared to the other SG’s that have (or likely will) changed teams this offseason.
Data from Basketball-Reference.com
If you compare production by 36 minutes worth of playing time, Green compares admirably to the other SG options. He’s the best rebounder of the group, and also has the best overall field goal percentage. His scoring and 3 point percentage are both above average when looking at this group. Sure he accumulated these stats as a bench guy facing the opponents’ less talented defenders, but that’s the exact same role he’s going to play on the Pacers.
Here’s the kicker: Green signed a 3 year $10 million dollar contract. Lou Williams and Jason Terry signed for the mid-level exception for $5 million a year. Joe Johnson still has $90 million and 4 years left on his contract. Supposedly, OJ Mayo and Courtney Lee are seeking bigger contracts than the Pacers are willing to shell out for a backup wing. As a side note – look at the comparison between Joe Johnson and Lou Williams. I think the Hawks are pretty happy to replace a $20 million/year guy with a $5/million a year guy and maintain that same kind of production.
Overall, I think this was a great deal for the Pacers, and I look forward to a second unit featuring Green and Lance Stephenson (who is apparently lighting up the Orlando Summer League) as the primary scorers. Plus, Gerald Green can do this:
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