Los Angeles Lakers: Time for Danny Green to live up to his contract

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Danny Green has not produced as expected throughout the season for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers‘ wing Danny Green is a two-time NBA champion in the hunt for his third ring playing for three different teams. Not many players have done that and they are mostly role players that, despite moving from a team to another, have provided a steady contribution useful to the championship quest.

Green is the one who put the 3-and-D on the map. The first such specialist to receive a big-time contract in virtue of his qualities, instrumental in Gregg Popovich’s system in San Antonio. Soon after, the value of this kind of supporters spiked, and they became the most sought after kind of player behind the stars.

This year, Green has been all but reliable for the Los Angeles Lakers and he failed to provide what he is supposed to do better. In the regular season, he shot 36.7 percent from three on 4.8 attempts in 24.8 minutes per game. In the first-round through Game 1 of the second, he sank to 33.3 percent.

We know the former Tar Heel has a history of inconstancy. He went from two great playoff runs in 2013 (with a spectacular 55.1 percent in the finals) and 2014 to a terrible 30 percent in 2015 playoffs.

After signing the big contract that summer, he had a bad regular season but recovered for a huge 50-percent playoff performance. Two average seasons in 2017 and 2018 were followed by awful playoff performances, especially an atrocious 25 percent showing in ’18.

Traded to the Toronto Raptors, he had a career-season shooting 45.5 percent from deep in 2019 and then disappeared in the playoffs with 32.8 percent. Finally, he arrived to LA. His shooting has been a disappointment all season long, it got worse in the bubble and kept going in the playoffs.

On the defensive end, he has been nowhere near the player expected to be. Unable to stay in front of other teams’ stars, the Lakers’ defensive raise in the playoffs is due to Alex Caruso’s and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s surge.

The past summer Danny joined the Lakers expecting to lead a unit of shooters surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Heck, he was the biggest free-agent acquisition for LA in terms of market value and contract size.

He was signed as soon as Kawhi Leonard got out of the market, with the attention great players receive, inking a two-year, $30 million contract. The third highest-paid player on the roster, behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

But starting from Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Danny Green has finally begun to show up to games, hitting 47.4 percent of his threes. A much-awaited and needed contribution from the veteran sharpshooter.

As we enter the conference finals, things might become harder against the resilient Denver Nuggets, and the Lakers will need to count on his outside shot, especially with the Nuggets playing heavy minutes with Nikola Jokic on the floor.

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Green needs to step up if the Lakers have to defeat them, get to the finals, and possibly face the tough Miami Heat to get that championship number 17. He has to pull off the productivity of a player worth $15 million and prove he is worth every cent of them, something so far he has failed to do.