When the Sixers acquired Danny Green this offseason, the biggest news from the trade was the ending of the awful Al Horford signing. But Danny Green has proven to be much more than a salary trade filler for the Sixers this season.
The 3-time NBA champion was in trade rumors around the NBA trade deadline in late March, but the front office decided to keep him on the squad. Since the All-Star break, Green has hit 48% of his threes and resides in the top 20 of both three-point field goals made and three-point percentage in the NBA.
Green has also been reliable in terms of health for the Sixers. The 33-year old guard has played and started in 57 of 58 games this year, the most on the team. Given that he was only off for a short two months after winning the title with the Lakers in October, Green has been durable and available for a Sixers team that has dealt with a multitude of injuries this season.
However, Danny Green brings more value to the Sixers than just a floor spacer alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Green’s championship experience and leadership will be crucial for the young and inexperienced Sixers core.
Recently, Green has been tutoring Sixers young forward Matisse Thybulle, who Green says “reminds me of a better me.” Green has been one of the top 3-and-D players since he entered the league and sees Thybulle as the next great 3-and-D player as soon as his offense improves.
“His confidence is growing, and I think he can grow even more,” Green said. “I’ve offered to talk, and he’s a kid that wants to learn. That’s what I love about Matisse. I told him I would love to sit down and watch some film with him.”
The Sixers haven’t had a proven NBA champion veteran to mentor young players, and Green has been more than willing to step into that role.
“Whether it’s on the court, just his voice, his presence, the things he brings to the table,” Sixers guard Shake Milton said. “Then off the court, he’s somebody who’s always approachable. You can always come talk to him. He’s the true definition of a vet, and it’s been great for him to just be around. I think he’s gonna have a really big impact on how far we go.”
Green may not be the defender he was with the San Antonio Spurs in the early 2010s, but he’s still a bright, instinctual defender that creates difficulty on the players he’s guarding. Green has been a significant part of the Sixers’ 2nd ranked defense, averaging 1.3 steals and close to one block a game.
Danny Green clamps Morris and the Sixers win a thriller pic.twitter.com/5rwYCUqScq
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) April 17, 2021
While the Sixers could have possibly traded him in a deal for Kyle Lowry or another All-Star player, Green’s experience on and off the court, along with his floor spacing, will prove to be very important for the Sixers coming down the stretch.