Throughout the off-season in the NBA, most expected forward Jeff Green to return to the Boston Celtics. Even though it came much later than anticipated, Green has now officially rejoined his former teammates after being released last year.
Green was released after undergoing heart surgery entering last season. The 25-year-old's season was ended before it even began and the beginning of his career with the Celtics was stalled after only spending half a season with the team the year before.
As the most pivotal piece in the Celtics' trade of Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was imperative for the team to bring him back.
With Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett, Kris Joseph, Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Fab Melo and Paul Pierce, Green is joining a very crowded group of forwards in Boston. Despite that, Green's versatility should prove a fine addition for the coming season and into the future. Without Ray Allen on the roster, Green's athleticism will be more valuable.
Unlike Bass, Garnett, Joseph, Sullinger and Fab Melo, Green offers the Celtics a component that can play on the perimeter effectively. The five other options are primarily power forwards and center combinations. Green's skill-set is closer to Paul Pierce and Lee as small forwards, however he has greater length than both players.
Green's presence on the roster will allow the Celtics to easily skip through various lineup combinations. With the additions of Jason Terry and Lee, along with the return of Avery Bradley and Keyon Dooling, the Celtics have the ability to flip to a smaller lineup with Rondo and Green. With so many athletic versatile lineups playing in today's NBA, that could become a staple of the team's gameplan.
If the team were forced to play Garnett, Melo, Sullinger, Bass or even Pierce, there would be a certain gap between styles on the floor. With Green there is less of a separation of style so much as a blending of versatility.
Green can also become part of a bigger lineup when called for. Because he can play both forward spots reliably, Green can seamlessly slot into the small forward position, placing him with Rondo, Pierce, Bass and Garnett would allow the Celtics to force their inside presence on their opponents when necessary.