The Los Angeles Lakers made a flurry of trades at the NBA trade deadline to improve the talent on the roster and get younger in the process. For the assets that the team had to ship out, it is hard not to like what Rob Pelinka and the front office did.
Pelinka left one roster spot for the Lakers to use via the buyout market. Los Angeles missed the first wave of buyout targets as there were not many great fits available. One great fit was Stanley Johnson, who cannot come back to LA thanks to a silly NBA rule.
Another great fit for the Lakers hit the buyout market via Danny Green, who was traded by the Memphis Grizzlies just three games after coming back from injury. Green was bought out by the Houston Rockets and signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Cavaliers are higher up in the standings, that was not the reason why Green chose to sign there over a team like the Lakers. Green recently explained on his ‘Inside The Green Room’ podcast why he ultimately didn’t sign with the purple and gold — and Lakers fans are sure to be annoyed.
Danny Green spurns Lakers for a perceived lack of playing time.
According to Green, Los Angeles was not a great spot for him as the team did not have the means to guarantee him a role on the court down the stretch. Green cited every game being a must-win, which prompts Darvin Ham to play his best possible lineup at all times.
It is completely justifiable for Green to go to a team that can actually afford to give him playing time. He is still trying to stay in the league and needs to perform after being injured to get a new deal in the summer.
That being said, Green’s evaluation of the Lakers’ roster probably is not correct. In fact, if Green were to have signed with the Lakers then he would have been the only true small forward on the entire roster. There absolutely would have been playing time for Green as long as he produced.
It is not like Green is going to have a massive role in Cleveland, either. He only got to appear in one game for the Cavs before the all-star break and in that game played 12 minutes. He is going to be a 9-12 minute guy for the Cavs down the stretch. He absolutely could have gotten that in LA and would’ve likely gotten more if he played well.
If this is the true reason for Green spurning LA it is frustrating for Lakers fans. However, this also could have been the diplomatic answer, as Green didn’t want to outright say the team stinks.