What Green brings to Boston

Versatile forward can score and defend LeBron, Melo and Deng

Originally Published: September 5, 2012
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN Insider
Jeff GreenSteve Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesVersatile Jeff Green is back after missing last season. He could play a pivotal role for the Celtics.

Look up and down every NBA roster, and you'll have a difficult time finding a better feel-good story next season than Jeff Green's return to the court for the Boston Celtics.

There are bigger stories, sure; Dwight Howard and Steve Nash heading to the Los Angeles Lakers; Ray Allen leaving the Celtics for the Miami Heat; Jeremy Lin taking his talents to the Houston Rockets. In terms of pure sentimentality, though, all pale in comparison to what Green, ranked No. 174 by ESPN.com's #NBArank panel of experts, has endured the past nine months.

You probably know bits and pieces of it by now -- Green, a versatile 26-year-old forward acquired in a well-debated trade that sent center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, was forced to miss all of last season while recovering from heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Now recovered, Green is ready to make his comeback, the beneficiary of a new $36 million deal that will keep him in Boston for four more years.

A truly remarkable story. This is where the warm and fuzzy part ends, however.

Joe Kaiser

Fantasy, Insider