Apr 12, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green (14) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 101-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Will Gerald Green continue as a journeyman or stay put?


Editor’s note: Eric Saar kicks off our offseason series to examine how expendable individual Suns are and the likelihood those players will be on the roster by the end of the 2014-15 season. First up is swingman Gerald Green, who had surprising highs that came with head-scratching lows in 2013-14.

The Green Machine.

He’s a high-flying, emotional player who lets it fly from deep when he’s not flying in for a vicious dunk himself.

Along with other players like Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green brought excitement to the desert that hadn’t been felt since the 2010 Suns playoff run.

He was acquired in a win-win trade with the Indiana Pacers last offseason, and with his and Miles Plumlee’s fascinating breakout performances, the trade sending Luis Scola out of Phoenix hardly seems like a fair deal. 

But could Green be gone after just one season? Phoenix already has three of the four guard spots taken for the long term with Dragic, Bledsoe and last year’s rookie, Archie Goodwin. P.J. Tucker, the heart of the Suns, could very well re-sign. So Green may not be as essential as he was last season. Phoenix also has three first round picks at the end of June in the draft to replace him with a younger player, one on a contract a tad smaller than his expiring deal.

Green’s shooting, athleticism and intensity won quite a few games for Phoenix, but his gambling on defense and occasionally streaky shot that went cold, also lost a few for the Suns. Overall it was a net positive, especially during Bledsoe’s injury-caused absence, but the 28-year-old may continue to be a journeyman if the Suns trade him.

Green is on Phoenix’s books in 2014-15 for $3.5 million and then becomes a free-agent next summer unless given an extension. As ShamSports’ Mark Deeks noted in a very unique case of Keith Bogans last year, those $3-6 million contracts are crucial to get deals done — in short, Bogans was a minimum-contract player but had the early Bird rights to be signed, then traded, in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce deal to Boston on a pricy $5 million contract. And that contract, despite it being an obvious overspend, was a valuable asset for the Celtics this past season, even if they didn’t pull the trigger.

If Green were to be traded, it would only make sense for him to be paired along with draft picks and other players for a superstar, but like Bogans his contract could make or break a deal. Green’s production and relatively cheap contract would likely be appealing for most teams.

Chances of Green being traded: Being a bit bold, I’d say there is a 60 percent chance Green is traded before the NBA trade deadline in February. He is the perfect sixth man on a playoff team — someone who puts points on the board in bunches. At the same time, the Suns could see him as being expendable as long as Bledsoe and Dragic stay healthy, Goodwin makes progress this summer and a wing is selected in the draft.

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    It would be the best time to trade Green. Sell while his stock is the highest, I say. Why not package him, the Morris Twins, and maybe the Suns’ first round pick in an attempt to get Kevin Love?

    • Ibanez5

      Don’t trade One! Our Core is set. All we need is melo or James. Aka superstar . Dragon bled morris twins and pj tucker plum dogg Archie Goodwin is our core. Suns need to rescue Nash he don’t belong in L.A. period let him retire a Sun!. Their docs can’t help him even amare.. N.Y. same thing. I miss my most lethal pick and roll combo! Where did J.richardson disappear 2 ? ,. Chemistry is the most important element In a winning team. Suns brass better break the cycle of letting there homemade superstars walk away or trade. It’s time to rise from the ashes into the unstoppable force and dismantle the competition ! Our franchise is the MOST HUNGRY and DESPERATE For a Title!
      #GOSUNS

      • Slap Dog Hoops

        As it stands now, the Suns are no where near contending for a title. They have plenty of young assets however, to parlay a trade to get a star quality player to get them in title contention. Strike while the iron is hot, I say!!

      • DBreezy

        I don’t know karate….

  • DBreezy

    If some sort of Kevin Love deal goes down involving one of Dragic or Bledsoe, I would say that it’s most likely that Green stays thru next season. He would assume the SG duties and help give the team a legit playoff shot, but I think McD would probably be planning on replacing him in 2015-2016 with Goodwin or someone he picks up in this draft. A lineup with Love and one of Goran or Bled is going to have a lot of shots put up by those two, which will somewhat control Green’s efficiency and make him look better. Otherwise, Green will have to show something he hasn’t show in his NBA career to date: consistency. So without a trade or if the Suns struggle, they could sell high.

  • Ibanez5

    Don’t trade dragic or Bledsoe Period. We have two of the most special guards in the league . Each has different special attacks but combined we are unstoppable. We killed the pacers the spurs and okc pretty much all the top teams . And that was very impressive. You all witnessed the hustle and work the suns team did. We need to kill the horrible rumors now and give the man a solid contact and focus on his health and not his unknown near future. We can only control so much in life. So why not take control of this issue . And keep our leaders leading in Bledsoe dragic tucker and twins ! McDonough better not mess this team up. I love our team! I bleed ORANGE AND PURPLE!!!!

  • 4everis2long

    Like most fans, I am a G. Green fan. However his lack of defensive focus concerns me. I love watching guys like Ibaka and K. Leonard who can bring it on both sides of the ball. I think Goodwin has that potential. If the Suns sign Tucker, Green probably will be expendable unless Bled is not signed or Dragic is traded. If Tucker is not signed, keep Green absent using him in a blockbuster deal. I am probably in the minority but I would let Tucker walk, give Goodwin more quality minutes at the 2 spot which should help the team defensively and let Green play the 3 spot. However if the Suns draft a McDermott, Staukus, R. Hood or J. Young, in all likelihood Green will be traded between now and February. Interesting issue.

    • DBreezy

      Yeah, I’ve been saying for awhile that if either Green or Marcus Morris could play solid D or even scrap on that end, they’d just let PJ walk for sure.

      • 4everis2long

        From the Trade Bled site, your points about Payne not necessarily being much better than Markief, seem to be money. You have slowly turned me into the Taking Capela Fan Club with the #18 pick. I say this, one because I like his stats around the rim (block shots and rebounds) and two because I am confident Len will develop a 15 foot game away from the basket, giving the guards and wings room to penetrate. Obviously we’ll see what McD does next week but I am sold on Capella over Payne.

        • DBreezy

          Did you see Payne’s comment about his workout in TOR? His agent had to be cringing after he said that it didn’t go too well. Idk if it did or it didn’t, but you should be coached not to say such things publicly ahead of the draft! I don’t know a ton about Capella, but he seems to fit a need and if McD is sold then I’m quite comfortable taking him.

          • coachj

            he said that because he got a promise from TOR maybe and is trying to rebuff other teams??

          • DBreezy

            Seems a bit low for a promise to run off other teams when he’s been mentioned as high as 13 to Minny.

          • coachj

            didn’t say he is smart… :)

          • DBreezy

            No doubt!

          • 4everis2long

            Yeah DB I just read that. IMO and as you suggested it is extremely risky business for a player to criticize his play at a workout. Even if Toronto liked the guy someone could unexpectedly fall to them who they like more and Payne free falls. He is intellectually a smart guy so I have no idea why he did that. I think he has seen too many of those “Honesty, pass it on” commercials.

          • DBreezy

            He needs to go to the Rasheed Wallace school of interviews :)

      • coachj

        agreed.. I love PJ, but he is replaceable. So are Morris and Green. However, you have to be careful about chemistry.

        • DBreezy

          Good point although it seems like the best team’s/GM’s essentially pick a core and coach that they feel establishes the team chemistry and have everyone else adapt to that.

          • coachj

            true, but you notice they don’t don’t do silly things like sign Shannon Brown. They are careful with whom they associate and rarely take on those types of issue players.

          • DBreezy

            We’re on the same page here.

  • Ibanez5

    Green is our slam dunk champion. Every team needs that infusion of pure excitement at the rim.” He is the bomb B” in his explosiveness and aggressive nature. Green & tucker are fearless. I love it! His nick name I been calling him all season is ” THE NINE FINGER BANDIT ”
    how does he do it?! He never quit on himself. That’s something our youth needs to learn. It’s not bout the $$$ it’s bout the talent & passion. He has both. U the man Gerald Green !!!

  • Ibanez5

    Trade the picks for melo ! He is the pure Scorer we desperately need. I think were set ROSTER WISE.. All we need is that last element-_- super star status.