Last season, Jeff Green was the best fifth Beatle in Brooklyn. When Green was paired with the Nets core four — Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Joe Harris — the team was +26.7 points per 100 possessions (in an admittedly small sample size). Green provided size, defense, and the ability to shoot the three and space the floor that the lineup needed.
Green took the money and ran to Denver this offseason. The Nets tried to fill in that role by reaching deals with LaMarcus Aldridge and, in particular, Paul Millsap. However, that move did not impress scouts around the league, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
“I think there’s a consensus around the league Millsap is washed,’’ one NBA talent evaluator said. “He doesn’t give them what they lost in Jeff Green unfortunately.’’
Green is unquestionably a better fit at this point in their careers, but if Durant, Harden, and Irving are healthy, will it matter? Veterans like Millsap, Aldridge, and Blake Griffin can provide some value at the position and should be enough, even against the Bucks or the Lakers (or whoever besides Los Angeles comes out of the West). Or, the Nets could go small in those situations and insert Patty Mills, who has proven himself on the biggest of stages.
Millsap has battled injuries the past few years, but that concern is echoed up and down the Brooklyn roster. The Nets are the clear title favorites healthy, but history suggests that is anything but a lock. The same is true with the favorite Lakers out West. It’s what makes this a potentially wide-open season in the NBA.
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Nets’ Paul Millsap signing reportedly didn’t impress rest of league originally appeared on NBCSports.com