The Nets continue to build a roster in Kevin Durant’s vision, agreeing to terms with veteran forward Jeff Green. Durant and Green have a relationship dating back to their days as teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Nets’ acquisition of Green addresses a key need for a floor-spacing, versatile two-way player at the four. He has played this role on a number of potential contenders, including last season’s Houston Rockets and the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers.
“This is deeper than basketball, me and Jeff,” Durant said after facing Green as an opponent following Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. “I can remember summers for years that we worked out every day together… So the basketball part is pretty cool, but to kinda just grow in this league with him our first few years, to now see where he is: family, kids, married. It just shows how much time has passed.
“So it’s deeper than basketball with us. I’m just enjoying this time we get to play on the court together and appreciate the moments we had together as teammates, as well.”
Now it’s time to make some more moments — and finish what the two started in OKC.
In 18 games with the Rockets last season, Green averaged 12 points and shot 56% from the field and 35% from three. He is the embodiment of a role player, one who will shoot threes, play defense and defer to his teammates.
That’s the name of the game when building a contender around superstars, and the Nets have two: Durant and Kyrie Irving. Chemistry only becomes an issue when roles aren’t clearly defined. In Brooklyn, it’s Durant and Irving — and maybe, just maybe, James Harden. Everyone else gets in where they fit in.
Green fits. So do Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown, the two other new free agent acquisitions the Nets made recently. So does Joe Harris, who Brooklyn re-signed on a four-year, $75 million contract.
There’s still the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the remainder of the roster: What happens to Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen, and how do they fit when their positions are now crowded with talent.
Just a reminder: Green and Durant were teammates in Oklahoma City, and Harden was the sixth man on that roster.
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