With Danny Green set to return, what does it mean for the Grizzlies?

Memphis Grizzlies forward Danny Green-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies forward Danny Green-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies will finally get veteran forward Danny Green back from injury at the start of next month. What should fans expect from him, and will he be here past the trade deadline?

The Grizzlies have been in the news for all the wrong reasons ever since their 11-game winning streak was ended by the Lakers last week. For starters, they are now on a three-game skid after being blown out by the Kings Monday night. Then news came out yesterday that Steven Adams has a PCL sprain that could sideline him for 3-5 weeks. That is a huge deal for a team that doesn’t have a true center with the ability to do any of the things Adams does for them in the screen game and as a rebounder.

There is some positive news to talk about though luckily. Veteran sharpshooter Danny Green recently announced on his “Inside The Green Room” podcast that he expects to make his season debut against the Trailblazers on Feb. 1. Green has missed the entirety of the Grizzlies season so far due to a knee injury sustained this past May while a member of the Sixers. While the Grizzlies need all the help they can get, is he better as a player or a trade asset?

Grizzlies need a player like Green, but will he be the same guy?

Despite their recent struggles, the Grizzlies are still having a great overall season up to this point. They are still 3.5 games ahead of the Kings for second place in the Western Conference and just 2.5 back of the Nuggets for the top spot. Still, they have a few major concerns that need addressing if they want to compete for a championship. Their schedule over the next month is full of teams either in or just outside the playoffs as well, so keeping their place in the standings without Steven Adams will not be easy.

The Grizzlies’ biggest need is perimeter shooting, which Green is primarily known for. He is 36th all-time in threes made with nearly 1,600 and makes them at just barely under a 40% clip. Still, this is a 35-year-old player coming off of ACL surgery. Expecting him to be the same player he was in the past is a big ask. His last season in Philadelphia was also his least efficient since the 2017-18 season. His defense coming off of his injury has to be a question mark as well. Overall, I have a hard time believing he will be the missing piece they need.

Green has been a prototypical three-and-D type of player for years now and has been very effective in that role. Maybe he can still be that guy for the Grizzlies down the stretch of the season. It is fair to wonder though if his $10,000,000 contract would be more valuable as a trade asset than he will be as a player. The fact that the front office will get at least a glimpse of his impact on the court before the trade deadline is huge. It will allow themselves and other teams to evaluate him before making a decision. Whether the Grizzlies ultimately keep him or not, he could have a big impact on the rest of their season.