FanPost

Phoenix Suns' Gerald Green is better than "That Guy"

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

451498107-e1385352161250_medium

Free agent, draftee, or in-house pup. Gerald Green is just better for the Phoenix Suns.

Now that the absolute joke NBA Lottery has come and gone, the basketball world can move things along and begin making preparations for the 2014-15 season, even though a Champion has yet to be crowned. In the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix now has a crystal clear view at all of their assets, whether it be draft position, on-team youth, or on-team stars. Followers of the Suns have already begun putting together wish lists consisting of drafted talent, star free agents, or possible star acquisitions via trade. In a lot of these scenarios, the #Greenade has been mentioned as a movable asset for trades or as a "stepping stone" player being kept around until the young Archie Goodwin is ready - penciled in for his third season at which point Gerald Green could be moved along.


Potential rookies have been championed to take his spot in the rotation if he is moved along. Nik Stauskas and K.J. McDaniels come to mind immediately. The issue I have with all of these scenarios is simple. Gerald Green is simply superior, as a Sun, than all of them.

"What" is Gerald Green?

28.4

5.5

12.3

.445

2.5

6.2

.400

3.0

6.0

.492

2.4

2.8

.848

0.6

2.8

3.4

1.5

0.9

0.5

1.8

2.7

15.8

Well, "Who" Green is (or was) this season is right here. 16PPG, 3.5 Boards, 1.5 Assists, 1 Steal on .445FG% (.400 3P% & .492 FG%) By the way, that's in less than 3 quarters a game - basically half of a game.
"What" he is, however, is a completely different thing. What he "Could become" as he settles into his prime under a coach in Jeff Hornacek who understands how to deploy him, could prove the "what."

In an age where teams can have stars and still not bring home championships, you need something more. You need Killers. You need executioners who you can go to and say, "Okay. Destroy everything the other team has achieved in this game, because you can, and because they can't stop you."

Wade was a killer for his first ring. He still holds his weapons but he's not out in front. He has King James, though. The Alpha Killer, and they have rings. Dirk was a killer when he wrestled that ring away from an un-molded Miami. The Thunder have a superstar in Russel Westbrook, and The Servant Slim Reaper in Durant. I mean, That guy is an assassin.

"But why in the hell are you comparing Gerald Green to those guys? You're more than a little off base with this one, Rich."
Not a direct comparison. A Trait.

Raw emotion. An arrogant willingness to take a shot. The absurd wild fury to attack the rim even when conventional wisdom suggests there's no way in hell he scores on this guy. The relentless attack complete with "GIVE HIM THE F@^#ING BALL!" urgency from teammates. Yes, it took awhile, but you see it now. If his handle improves, he'll be a harbinger of death. His handle, by the way, is the one thing he mentioned working on feverishly in the off-season.

Green versus the "House"

I'll keep this one short and simple. I understand that a lot of people who read this will disagree with me 100% and that's okay. I'm going to say it anyway.
If it comes down to moving either Gerald Green or Archie Goodwin, I'd be shipping Goodwin out. Not because I don't like #Mongoose. He's going to be a very good player. But with the quickened pace of this rebuild already entering the "configuration tinkering for a championship" stage, I wouldn't be able to afford waiting on him. Gerald Green is ready to go now, At the same time Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are ready to go.

Trading away Goodwin, and draft picks doesn't hurt this contender-aspiring Suns team. Trading away Green leaves a huge black-hole void even if another star at another position is acquired. You can part with potential. You must hold onto killers.

If I may make you more angry, I'm okay with losing Bledsoe, too, if another team offers him a Hodor-sized contract. As long as Green remains.

Green versus "The Agents"

If you're bringing in a player who may directly or indirectly take time away from Green or just outright replace him, you have to ask yourself a few questions regarding said potential restricted free agent:
Can he run? Can he stop on a dime and fire? Is he a better fit for the system? Is he going to be superior financially moving forward? Can he sell tickets? That last one is far more important than many people seem to think.

Gordon Hayward (G. Green's numbers on top)

28.4

5.5

12.3

.445

2.5

6.2

.400

3.0

6.0

.492

2.4

2.8

.848

0.6

2.8

3.4

1.5

0.9

0.5

1.8

2.7

15.8

36.4

5.5

13.4

.413

1.1

3.6

.304

4.4

9.8

.453

4.0

4.9

.816

0.8

4.3

5.1

5.2

1.4

0.5

2.8

2.0

16.2

Dion Waiters (G. Green's numbers on top)

28.4

5.5

12.3

.445

2.5

6.2

.400

3.0

6.0

.492

2.4

2.8

.848

0.6

2.8

3.4

1.5

0.9

0.5

1.8

2.7

15.8

29.6

6.1

14.2

.433

1.3

3.6

.368

4.8

10.6

.455

2.3

3.4

.685

0.5

2.3

2.8

3.0

0.9

0.2

2.2

2.2

15.9

Lance Stephenson (G. Green's numbers on top)

28.4

5.5

12.3

.445

2.5

6.2

.400

3.0

6.0

.492

2.4

2.8

.848

0.6

2.8

3.4

1.5

0.9

0.5

1.8

2.7

15.8

35.3

5.5

11.2

.491

1.1

3.1

.352

4.4

8.0

.545

1.8

2.5

.711

1.2

5.9

7.2

4.6

0.7

0.1

2.7

2.5

13.8

Numbers courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com

I used these three players for the same (but different) reasons. Hayward & Stephenson's name(s) have come up quite a bit in the Valley and could actually replace a few other Suns players as well. Waiters is probably on borrowed time in Cleveland and his on-paper production is a good measurement against Green. No, I don't think he's nearly as good as Gerald, though.

Gerald versus "The Draft"

Any wing available to the Suns around 14 or 18, assuming they WILL don't do something with those picks, whether it be Nik Stauskas or K.J. McDaniels won't be ready to do what Gerald does and will do today and tomorrow. Their college numbers are nice. I actually have Stauskas on my "watch list" as I like his handle well enough to run some bench-point if a guy like Ish Smith isn't retained.

No matter who I've mentioned

No matter how good they are, and no matter what other skills they provide, they don't give the Suns what Gerald Green does. None of these players can take a game over. None of them are as trust-worthy at the free throw line late in a game. Most of them are unable to be effective while being totally out of the way, but in sync, with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic when in the game with them. Most importantly, none of them have the killer trait.

Throw out any name you want. Rudy Gay, Melo, Anybody outside of LBJ who has even an outside chance of playing for Phoenix next season. For what he does, and how he does it, I'll take Gerald Green. I know many of you would not. That's okay with me.

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