Grabbing Jeff Green and dumping Lance Stephenson was the best thing the LA Clippers have done in a while.
A new kind of energy on the floor was well past due by the time this year’s NBA trade deadline was nearing.
Former Memphis Grizzlies player Jeff Green won’t be the superstar type of player, but that’s not who they need him to be.
After investing in former Pacers standout Lance Stephenson, the Clippers seemed to have learned just how deceiving looks can be in today’s game of basketball.
When you look at the kind of player Stephenson was in Indiana, and then compare him to the production and effort we saw in Los Angeles, it’s guaranteed that you’d see two different kind of guys.
For one thing, Stephenson didn’t have to be the only go-to guy in late game situations with the Pacers. Indiana had guys like Paul George, among other seasoned guys, for that situation.
A fallout with the Charlotte Hornets ensued for Stephenson, as he failed to live up to the hype he’d received after being one of the only players confident enough to stand in the face of LeBron James in the playoffs.
When the Hornets didn’t want him, Los Angeles gave him a shot. Doc Rivers has worked with guys like Stephenson in the past, so it was worth a shot to see where things went.
And if they’d stayed with Stephenson after what he’d put on display thus far, they’d only have themselves to blame.
But let’s stop with the hypothetical — the reality is that Stephenson is now with the Grizzlies and Jeff Green has returned to the Clippers.
Green is a seven year veteran who, while in Memphis, averaged 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
They don’t need any more clutch guys — it would clog the floor up and disrupt any rhythm on either side of the ball.
Williams isn’t by any means the biggest star on the table, but his numbers off the bench are a major factor in the development of the team moving forward.
When you also consider the fact that Byron Scott is known for being better when coaching more experienced players, the success of Lou Williams comes as less of a surprise than it might originally.
The same can be said for Jeff Green and Doc Rivers.
High energy guys plays right into the hands of Rivers, who had his hands full during his stint with the Boston Celtics.
Green will also balance out nicely when it comes to the kind of personality that the team wants in the locker room, as Stephenson’s clearly wasn’t getting the job done.
Lastly, the Grizzlies are likely to be the kind of team the Clippers will see in the first round unless a major shakeup in the middle of the Western Conference standings were to happen, so a player like Green can help give you the edge in those fast-paced pushes.
Memphis likes to frustrate their opposition at their own game, it’s something that Mike Conley has really mastered in his time as a point guard there.
But with the defense set the way they are at the moment, and Jeff Green adding to the scoreboard consistently and in a timely fashion, the Clippers won’t have to worry about being a team that falls apart like a year ago.