We knew that if Kawhi Leonard went west to the Lakers or Clippers, it was very likely Danny Green would follow. With the news of Kawhi’s imminent and unbelievable departure to the Clips, it was only a matter of time before we got an answer from Green. That answer? He’s heading to the Lakers for a payday he likely could not have gotten from Toronto (even if Kawhi had come back).
The news was broken by... Danny Green himself:
BREAKING: pic.twitter.com/oIPUwiFLmI— Inside The Green Room (@GreenRoomInside) July 6, 2019
And here are the actual reported terms of the deal, according to Woj:
Free agent guard Danny Green will sign a two-year, $30M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
The one-two punch here was both expected and totally blind-siding. For one, it really did feel like Kawhi would re-sign with the Raptors to run it back for another title in Toronto. With that knowledge stowed away, it felt inevitable that Green would also come back to the Raptors to provide the same savvy presence he did for 2018-19.
Remember: at 32 years old, Green played 80 regular season games and 24 post-season contests for the Raptors, shot 45 percent from three (in the regular season), and had more than a handful of solid defensive — and straight-up heroic — moments throughout. Yes, by the the time the NBA Finals rolled around, Green was becoming less and less effective (we may never recover from his late Game 6 turnover, for example). But one of the reasons why the Raps were even in that position — a 58-24 season behind them, a surplus of swagger within them — is, and will always be, because of Green.
With Kawhi gone, Green’s utility in Toronto is now limited. The squad minus Leonard is not going to contend for a championship, which means Green’s unique brand of timely shooting and emotional steadiness is not as necessary now. The Raptors will look to retool in some form or another.
All we can do is wish Green well — and maybe continue to enjoy his podcast from afar.