When Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee came over as additions along with a 2014 first round pick from the Indiana Pacers in return for Luis Scola, it seemed like getting those players thrown in was just an attempt to get younger and more athletic.
It turns out it was much more than that.
Drafted 18th overall by Boston in 2005, the 6-8 Green never really stuck anywhere. However in 2007, he won the Slam Sunk Competition during All-Star Weekend. Below are all his dunks during that competition.
He played for the Celtics for a couple years, but bounced around the league, playing only four minutes for the Houston Rockets and short stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks. He then broke out with the (then New Jersey) Brooklyn Nets, averaging just less than 13 points per game.
Last season, Green played in 60 games for the Indiana Pacers, but only averaged 7 points per game, due to the emergence of Paul George as a superstar.
Now that the 27-year-old is here in the valley of the sun, he seems to have found his place. Green is averaging career-highs with just more than 13 points and 26.3 minutes per game. What’s even better is his career-high .436 three-point percentage.
Since Green’s reputation was a leaper, he got many looks from behind the arc that he knocked down. He won’t be given such quality looks from range in the future.
Here are Green’s shots from the Oklahoma City game, where Green scores 21 points, but not one is a dunk.
Below are two examples from this season of why Green has been labeled a leaper in the past.
Gerald Green is an explosive player who has all the athletic ability to be something special. he’s probably too old to achieve superstar status, but he is showing flashes of brilliance that bode well for Phoenix. His quick release on his jumper is good and soon he’ll have to work on a pump-fake to get the defenders up in the air, resulting in a high-flying slam for Green.
Since Green is more than a slam dunk champion, his other skills will be integral to a possible surprising playoff appearance for Phoenix this year.