Justin Zanik had quite the first offseason as general manager of the Utah Jazz. Arguably the best in franchise history. One of those moves was bringing in 14 year veteran Jeff Green. Green was a highly touted player coming out of Georgetown and was the 5th overall pick back in 2007.
He’s had his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career and turned into a journeyman in the past few years. Utah will be the 8th team that he suits up for. He’s also been stuck in one year deals for several years now, including his contract with the Jazz. Zanik locked him up for the veteran’s minimum of 2.5 million for the 2019-2020 season.
The veteran’s minimum is exactly as it sounds. A contract for the lowest dollar amount based on the number of years a player has been in the league. You wouldn’t typically expect a lot of production out of a guy that you gave the least possible money to. But could Jeff Green have been brought to Utah for much more?
In the 860 regular season games he’s played throughout his career, Green has started 541 of them. That’s nearly 63%. He’s been a starter most of his time in the NBA. Most recently, he started more than half the games for the Washington Wizards last season. That was also one of the better seasons of his career. He put up 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on a bad Wizards team. His true shooting percentage was at a career-high 60.8% thanks in large part to a respectable 35% from three and fantastic 89% from the line.
That type of player could fit in extremely well with a starting lineup presumably including Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert. Quin Snyder probably can’t sleep at night due to all the offensive weapons he’ll have at his disposal this season. Despite the defensive culture he’s created in Utah, he was originally brought to the Jazz for his offensive mind. Now he’ll have the tools as well, including newly-signed Jeff Green.
Green may be slightly passed his prime at the age of 32, but he’s still got quite the spring in his step. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without realizing how good of an in-game dunker Jeff is. If nothing else, he’ll certainly bring some exciting plays like the ones here.
There’s another reason Jeff Green may be slotted in as the starter for next season: He’s the only one on the roster to actually start at the position. While other players are certainly capable, he’s already been there and done that.
Derrick Favors was the starting 4 for the last 6 years in Utah. Overall, he was one of the longest tenured players in the league until his trade to New Orleans. He’s leaving behind some big shoes to fill. Jeff Green is certainly a candidate to step in and play some big minutes for the Jazz this year. Will he be the new starter?