Danny Green has started life well with the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Should the Toronto Raptors have pursued him harder in free agency?
When the news that the Toronto Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard broke, Danny Green was seen as more of a bit-part player in the deal. The Raptors got Leonard and Green, and the San Antonio Spurs acquired DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a first-round pick.
In hindsight, the fact that Green was ever seen as something other than a key component in the deal was, to be honest, ludicrous. Green had a career-year with the Toronto Raptors in his one-lone season north of the border, averaging 10.3 points, four rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in 80 regular-season games. He was also the second-leading marksman in terms of three-point percentage, knocking down 45.5-percent of his threes.
While his shooting percentages and overall impact fell in the postseason, Green was an important factor for the Raptors as they won their first-ever NBA title, defeating the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the Finals.
As far as it goes, Green seemingly loved his time with Toronto, but his future with the Raptors was seemingly tied to Kawhi Leonard’s decision. If Leonard stayed with the Raptors, maybe it’s possible that Green would have stayed too.
Leonard left though, and shortly after, it was revealed that Green would also be taking his talents to California to join up with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Since making the move out west, Green has averaged 8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, shooting 41-percent from three on 4.7 attempts per game.
The Lakers have the best record in the NBA and Green has seamlessly fit into the Lakers starting lineup. The Raptors, while not owning the best record in the NBA, have still been impressive. Fred VanVleet has stepped into the starting lineup and filled the void left by Green. He’s looked, for the most part, more than competent in his role.
At times, though, VanVleet has struggled with an effective field-goal percentage of 49-percent. Recently, he has stepped up to the plate, especially with Kyle Lowry on the sidelines.
Even with VanVleet performing admirably, the Raptors could still have used Danny Green in the starting lineup. Should they have pursued him harder in free agency?