For world-traveler Danny Green, it’s been an eventful few days to say the least. The veteran guard began his week as a Laker. That changed Monday when Los Angeles shipped Green cross-country to Oklahoma City in exchange for Dennis Schroder. But the Sooner State was just a pit-stop for Green, who was traded to the 76ers before he even had a chance to unpack his bags.
Green’s brief layover in OKC was reminiscent of Carmelo Anthony’s short-lived stint as an Atlanta Hawk. Melo never suited up for Atlanta—the Hawks wasted no time in buying out what was left of his contract—but he did receive a framed jersey to commemorate his fleeting, five-day tenure with the team. Ironically enough, Anthony was also dealt for Schroder.
Anthony experienced a similar phenomenon last year when he was foisted on Chicago in a swap that allowed the cap-strapped Rockets to shed some much-needed salary space. Melo never played a game for the rebuilding Bulls, who kicked him to the curb the first chance they got.
To the untrained eye, it would seem Philadelphia got fleeced, trading perennial All-Star Al Horford and a pair of draft picks for Green, a 33-year-old role player who averaged a meager eight points per game last season. Instead it’s been hailed as the latest sorcery from front-office newcomer Daryl Morey, who addressed arguably the Sixers’ biggest need—outside shooting—while somehow ridding the team of Horford’s albatross contract. Morey, whose Rockets teams were always among the league leaders in three-point attempts, double-downed on this strategy, further bolstering Philly’s shooting depth by acquiring Seth Curry (second to Steve Kerr in career three-point percentage) Wednesday in a draft night trade with Dallas.
While Philadelphia is positioning itself for a deep playoff run, Oklahoma City is operating on a much different wavelength, stockpiling future assets, much like the Sixers during their Sam Hinkie “Process” Era. Through various trades (Paul George, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook have all turned in their OKC keycards in the past year), the Thunder have amassed an obscene 18 first-round picks over the next six drafts. The Thunder aren’t the first team to shamelessly tank and they certainly won’t be the last, but hoarding this much draft capital is unprecedented, bordering on irresponsible.
Green isn’t the only player stacking up frequent flyer miles. Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre have also been making the rounds. Both landed with the Thunder in a blockbuster that sent Chris Paul to Phoenix earlier this week. Neither were long for OKC with Rubio heading to the Timberwolves for his second stint in ‘Sota and Oubre latching on with Golden State in a deal struck earlier today.
Green didn’t take the most direct route to Philadelphia, but now that he’s here, the Sixers have to like their chances. The UNC alum seems to win everywhere he goes, netting titles in San Antonio (2014), Toronto (2019) and, most recently, Los Angeles (2020).