Gerald Green Speaks On Future With Phoenix Suns

Mar 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green (14) dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center. The Trail Blazers won the game 87-81. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green (14) dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center. The Trail Blazers won the game 87-81. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Gerald Green‘s murky future with the Phoenix Suns got even cloudier when he recorded his first “DNP – CD” back on Jan. 30. Since then, it’s been harder and harder to find a ray of hope that the Suns could repair their relationship with a fan favorite and free agent this summer.

According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Green is uncertain where he stands with the team:

"“‘I want to be here but I just don’t know if they want me here,’ Green said. ‘Because if you want somebody, you show them. I don’t think I was playing that bad and now we’re here.'”"

Green has a point. Since that Jan. 30 game against the Chicago Bulls, he’s registered seven more DNPs and has only reached the 20-minute plateau in four games. The Suns won their first game in which Green was benched, but since then the team has gone 11-18 and Phoenix’s offense has been the third-worst offense in the league during that span, per

According to Coro, head coach Jeff Hornacek‘s rationale for pulling Green from the regular rotation was his defense:

"“‘He never really seemed to get it going and then it comes to the point where, if you’re not scoring and your defense isn’t picking up, it’s hard to stay in the game,’ Hornacek said.“‘The next guy is going, ‘I needed help here and the guy wasn’t here.’ We’re trying to develop something for the future, not just being out here for everybody to play in the game. We want to get to a top-notch winning level and you’ve got to do it on both sides.'”"

Green’s defense, particularly within the scheme of the team defense, has been spotty at best. Since moving Marcus Morris into the starting rotation and switching P.J. Tucker to the wing, the Suns have been a serviceable defense and one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA.

Games like his 24-point performance against the Utah Jazz last Saturday prove Gerald Green still has something to offer an NBA team. He carried the Suns’ offense in that game, converting 10 of the 17 shots he took in 22 minutes. His heat check ignited the crowd, though the US Airways Center fans were ready to give him a loud ovation simply for checking into the game.

Performances like that are almost enough to make you wonder if the Suns could salvage this relationship and re-sign him this summer, and if Green had his way, Coro says he’d prefer to remain in Phoenix and retire a Sun.

But his role with the team would likely be what it’s become over the last few months: an unused reserve expected to be the first teammate off the bench encouraging his teammates until Hornacek grows desperate enough for offense to give him minutes.

For the 29-year-old Green, that might not be good enough. According to Coro, Green was telling teammates they would’ve made the playoffs if he had received more playing time over the last two and a half months.

“It hasn’t been the same (since the Chicago game). I ain’t gonna lie. It’s been frustrating because I know I can help win,” Green told Coro.

While it’s encouraging that, even after all of the turmoil of the last few months, Green still wants to re-sign in Phoenix, it still feels highly unlikely. The Suns have a very young core and there aren’t enough minutes for everyone on the wing. Green would have to be content with his new role moving forward, which, if we’re judging by his latest comments, seems unlikely.

If the Suns are trying to create a winning environment in Phoenix, they’d better get started as soon as possible. From players calling out the fans to fan favorites demanding trades to Archie Goodwin now sounding off about the team’s lack of veteran leadership, the Valley of the Sun hasn’t been a pleasant environment to play basketball in this season.

Green has done an admirable job being a good teammate despite his lack of minutes and he’s probably right; the Suns might still be in playoff contention if he hadn’t been benched two and a half months ago. But now that the world knows how he really feels about it all, that attitude could give way to more locker room problems next season.

At this point, that’s the LAST thing the Phoenix Suns need.

Next: Could The Phoenix Suns Still Keep Gerald Green?

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