At the start of this season, I was almost sure that despite the contract year, Gerald Green was bound for some regression. After posting career-high numbers in virtually every statistical category, we just had to see at least a bit of drop-off from the Green Machine. Last season, in the minds of many, was an anomaly.
And though it's much too early to crown Green the Sixth Man of the Year, so far we have seen no regression. His minutes have been cut, and his role reduced, and yet he remains just as efficient and productive as he was when he started alongside Goran Dragic. In fact, some might argue that he has even been outplaying both starting guards on the roster.
In the past four games, Green has averaged 18 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, and 26.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per 36 minutes. That is on 46% shooting from the field, 50% shooting from deep and 88% shooting from the free-throw line.
Not only that, but Gerald also celebrated the birth of his second son, Julius Green. That ultimately forced me to give him the edge over Eric Bledsoe for player of the week honors.
We all know of Gerald's faults; he'll shoot you out of a lead as quickly as he can shoot you into one. He's both lovable and frustrating; to watch him dribble the ball on a fast break can be as electrifying as it is terrifying.
Therefore, it needs to be stressed that the following video of Green's early season highlights paints only a one-sided, idealized picture of Gerald. While most would agree that he is a steal at $3.5 million, there's a reason that he's coming off the bench. His defense needs work, as does his shot selection. And having nine fingers doesn't make ball handling a particularly easy task either.
Enjoy these next several months of Gerald Green, because we do not know what his future holds. There is a sense of commitment that the organization has with Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas that you won't see with Green. And if both Dragic and Green demand large salary increases in free agency, we all know which one will be prioritized by McDonough.
There are no indications that Green is anything less than enamored with the Phoenix Suns, the organization that finally gave him a chance to shine in the NBA. But how he fits the franchise's future plans will be interesting to track.
Tell us how you feel about the Green situation in the comments below, and make sure to vote on the poll for your player of the week!