The Gerald Green Dilemma

Gerald Green had the best year of his NBA career this past season for the Phoenix Suns, but could he be more valuable as a trade piece to acquire a star?

This past season was one to remember, and in no small part due to Gerald Green. His ridiculous dunks and sometimes questionable shot selection captivated the entire Suns fan base for all 82 games. But besides being a thrill to watch, he has an immense value to the team. Whether its his scoring or his ability to help us score a star, he is one of the most valuable assets we have.

Gerald Green: 2013-14 Season Stats

To start, lets look at his stat line from the 2013-14 season.

  • 15.8 PPG *51st in the NBA*
  • 3.2 RPG
  • 1.5 APG
  • 28.4 MPG
  • 204 3PM *4th in the NBA*
  • 16.55 PER
  • 7.0 Estimated Wins Added *11th among SG in NBA*
  • 210.4 Value Added

To put this in perspective, Green hit the 4th most 3's in the NBA despite playing less than 30 MPG. All others in the top ten played at least 30.4 min. Although his rebounding and assist numbers seem low, he is in the top 40 in both for shooting guards. But again, if shooting guards weren't supposed to focus on shooting, they wouldn't be called shooting guards. In terms of his actual ranking among shooting guards he is placed at 12 by Bleacher Reports Adam Fromal. With a top 15 player at his position coming off the bench, the Suns bench was one of the best in the NBA.

His value is not one that is contained to stats though. One of Gerald's greatest strength is his power to change the games momentum at will. It's fairly easy to recall numerous times this season where he simply took over the game. Like this one. Or this one. Having a player that can take over is crucial to any contending team in the NBA. Look at the 1986-87 Detroit Pistons "Microwave" season for a comparison. Now combine Vinnie's mental toughness with one of the most athletic players in the NBA and you have the human highlight reel, Gerald Green.

Current Market Value

Next year Green will become a unrestricted free agent. It is safe to say Gerald has so far over played his annual salary of $3.5M. JJ Redick who had a similar PER of 16.64 made almost twice as much as Gerald. JJ also scored less than Gerald in similar minuets. The average NBA salary is $5.5M a year, and the green machine is above average. Barring a return to the Gerald of old a fair price for him would be around $6M a year. This is only if we see repeat numbers from the Four-Fingered-Assassin.

Current Trade Value

Another possible value for Green is being a trade piece. A common trade thrown around is the Morri + Green + Ish + now used draft picks for Kevin Love. It seems that every comment section is filled with these types of scenarios. But why Green? He is not valued around the league to the extent that he is in Phoenix. He thrives in this fast break, shooting system but would he stalls in others? These are questions that executives must ask themselves in regards to trading for him. He reminds me of Leandro Barbosa in that sense. In the Suns uniform he was the 6th Man of the Year. Without it he couldn't replicate his previous years numbers. Hopefully if he is traded, this is not how it plays out and he does help bring us the much needed third star.

What Should the Suns Do?

The Suns are in a favorable position with Gerald. They have one more season to watch the Gerald Green Show play out. It is most important to see that he is still improving as his athleticism begins to leave him. This is the key to him being a long term piece to the Suns bright future. Unless an opportunity presents it's self to make us an instant contender, it's important for the Suns to stand pat on the Gerald Green front as the rewards could be astronomical.

And next time you think about Gerald Green dribbling in traffic just watch this.

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