The Los Angeles Lakers made a number of changes at the trade deadline, bringing in multiple players to surround the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But general manager Rob Pelinka has also said that the front office could still explore the buyout market if the right player came available, and a familiar name was on the market in veteran wing Danny Green.
Green was bought out by the Houston Rockets after being dealt there at the trade deadline by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers were apparently interested in bringing him back to the purple and gold, but he chose to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers instead.
In the latest episode of his Inside The Green Room podcast, the veteran wing explained why he chose to go to Cleveland rather than return to the Lakers:
“They asked what could move the needle, what could they do. I don’t think they had the opportunity, or the same opportunity, the same minutes with all the wings that they brought in, all the people they brought in to be able to give me an opportunity or say you’ll have a good opportunity to be on the floor and that we’re for sure gonna make the playoffs. So it was very up in the air and it’s a very urgent time for them. They have to win now, and they have a lot of pressure on them doing that in a short amount of time and that relies a lot on LeBron’s health and Anthony Davis’ health in the last 20 to 30 games and for me that was a big risk.”
Green’s assessment of the Lakers does make a lot of sense. With Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt joining Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV, the Lakers have a lot of wings and Green’s opportunity to contribute was not guaranteed. Additionally, while the Lakers are fighting to get in the playoffs, Cleveland is a postseason lock looking to hang with the elite of the Eastern Conference.
Of course Green was a big part of the Lakers’ championship run in 2020, starting every game he appeared in as the very definition of a 3-and-D player. He has recently returned to action after tearing his ACL and LCL in playoffs with the Philadelphia 76ers last year and now will look to help the Cavaliers and go on another playoff run as he has through most of his career.
Patrick Beverley sets goal of knocking Lakers out of the playoffs
There is another former Lakers guard on a new team in the Eastern Conference after being bought out as well in Patrick Beverley, who chose to join his hometown Chicago Bulls. And with two games against his former team upcoming on the schedule, Beverley has set himself a new goal.
Beverley spoke on his podcast, stating that he wants to knock the Lakers out of the playoffs. With the Bulls also fighting to make a postseason run, every game will be important just as it is for the Lakers. But Beverley will clearly have some extra motivation when the two teams cross paths.
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