Danny Green is on the move ... again.
As first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Green and Terrance Ferguson to the Philadelphia 76ers for Al Horford, a first-round pick in the 2025 NBA Draft and the No. 34 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which was used to select Theo Maledon.
It came on the heels of the Thunder acquiring Green from the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade for Dennis Schröder earlier in the offseason.
The Sixers are sending a lightly-protected 2025 first-round pick and the 34th overall pick in tonight's draft, sources tell ESPN. The Thunder are also sending Terrance Ferguson to the Sixers with Green. https://t.co/sDCfPo4T4L- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 18, 2020
As NBA.com's Gilbert McGregor broke down, this feels like a rare win-win for both sides.
For the Thunder, they get two more draft picks and a player in Horford they could potentially flip for even more draft picks somewhere down the road. For the 76ers, they get off of Horford's contract and acquire a player in Green who should complement their one-two punch of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid well on both ends of the court.
How? Let's take a closer look.
Opening up the floor
This isn't complicated: Green is one of the best spot-up shooters in the league.
For his career, almost two-thirds of Green's field goal attempts have come from the 3-point line. He's a career 40.0 percent 3-point shooter, which is good enough for him to rank in the top-50 all-time in 3-point shooting percentage.
The bulk of Green's 3s are catch-and-shoot. According to NBA.com, he took 4.0 catch-and-shoot 3s per game in the 2019-20 season and converted them at a 36.9 percent clip. He was even better the season prior, converting a whopping 47.4 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts as a member of the Toronto Raptors.
Green isn't simply a corner 3-point shooter either. He actually made more above the break 3s (65) than corner 3s (55) last season. He moves well off ball, knowing how to punish defenders for helping off of him.
Green's 3-point shooting makes him a natural fit next to both Simmons and Embiid.
It's no secret that Simmons is at his best when he's playing in space, and Green will be able to space the floor for him in the same way he did for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It should be a symbiotic relationship as well. According to PBP Stats, only Luka Doncic (244) and James (234) assisted on more 3s than Simmons (226) last season.
If teams do help off of Green to collapse the paint, Simmons will find him.
As for Embiid, he was the most dominant post scorer in the league last season. He led the league in post scoring and did so efficiently, ranking in the 90th percentile with 1.10 points per possession. He's nowhere near the passer Simmons is, but it'll be much harder for teams to load up on him in the post with Green on the court.
Time will tell what Philadelphia's starting five will be this season, but the 76ers now have the option of surrounding Simmons and Embiid with three proven 3-point shooters in Green, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry, the latter of whom they acquired in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2020 NBA Draft.
That should do wonders for their spacing.
"Having a truly gravity elite shooter really changes the dynamic for Ben and Joel," 76ers president Daryl Morey said following the draft. "When Joel and Ben have had that, it's actually insane how good those lineups [were], and how good those teams played, when everyone was healthy. So that was really the theme for tonight."
Locking it down
In addition to being a knockdown shooter, Green is a versatile perimeter defender.
Based on data collected by Khrishna Narsu of The BBall Index, Green had a versatility rating of 70.9 last season, the result him spending a decent amount of time guarding point guards (15.9 percent), shooting guards (41.3 percent), small forwards (20.3 percent) and power forwards (14.7 percent). Even at the age of 33, Green still offers a lot of switchability.
To boot, Green is a disruptive help defender. Standing at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, he has quick hands and knows where to position himself to shut down passing lanes and driving lanes. He averaged 1.3 steals, 2.7 deflections and 7.1 contested shots per game last season, all of which ranked second to only Davis for most on the Lakers.
The 76ers were one of the better defensive teams in the league last season, but it never hurts adding someone who has won three championships and has been a key piece of some of the best defensive teams in recent memory. Plus, a trio of Green, Simmons and Matisse Thybulle is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Between the three of them, the 76ers should have no problem matching up with the best backcourts in the league with the ultimate safety blanket behind them in Embiid.
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