Washington Wizards: Why Jeff Green should be in the starting lineup

Washington Wizards Jeff Green (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Jeff Green (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Jeff Green was one of the best off-season additions in the entire NBA. Now, the Washington Wizards need to consider moving him into the starting lineup.

Perhaps his entire tenure, Jeff Green has been underutilized. The Washington Wizards got a steal when they signed Green in the off-season. A 6’9 gifted wing-man, Green deserves to be in the starting lineup.

Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. These stats should be higher, but Green seems to have always played limited minutes after his heart issues.

After the his major surgery he was moved to a reserve role. Washington will be the 7th franchise he played for and Green has come off the bench for every single team besides the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It’s understandable that every team wants capable bench players, but Green is no limited role player. His abilities are far more than 7th man off the bench.

I’ve always wondered if I was missing a piece to the puzzle when I pondered on why Green never made it back into any starting lineups. After watching that dysfunctional Cleveland Cavaliers roster last season, can we honestly say that  J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, or Jae Crowder should have started over Green? Absolutely not.

Yes, the Cavaliers had a lot of moving pieces last season, but Green was a consistent piece that they had in their grasp, yet missed out on the opportunity. I don’t want the Wizards to fall into the same trap.

In three games for the Wizards he’s averaged 25.7 minutes per game. This is good time, but it should be increased. Markieff Morris is entering his 4th season with Washington and has never seemed to really have a breakout campaign.

I’ll be the first to admit that Morris had a sensational game against the Portland Trail Blazers. But, he’s been inconsistent throughout his career.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a talented individual, but not more than Green. The Wizards need to realize the versatility that Green can bring to the team. The game has changed to a small-ball, quick pace, type of basketball game now. Green has the ability to play multiple positions, which provides significant advantages for the team.

If Scott Brooks wants to have a big lineup then he can have Green play the 3 position. If he wants to play small ball, then he can have green play the 4 or 5 position. Regardless of where Green is stationed in the lineup, the Wizards are benefiting.

Green brings more offensively than Morris or Porter. He has no problem creating his own shot and attacking the basket. Not to mention he’s great in transition and would be able to provide the Wizards with another option towards the end of close games. Defensively, he’s got the size to guard the superstars of the NBA like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The ideal lineup for the Wizards would be: G-John Wall, G-Bradley Beal, F-Otto Porter Jr., F-Jeff Green, C-Dwight Howard. We could make the case that Green should be substituting for Porter, but since the Wizards gave him an insane payday, they need to ride it out.

Porter is a 3-and-D player, nothing more. He’s never been known to create his own shot, which is fine, it just makes him a limited player.

Morris would be better brought off the bench because he’s a 6’10 big man that can shoot. It would give the Wizards more flexibility at the center position. I would much rather have Morris come in for Howard than Ian Mahinmi or Jason Smith. As we’ve seen these two get rocked when they are on the floor.

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If the Wizards want more firepower, then Green needs to be inserted into the starting lineup. He’s a valuable asset to have come off the bench, but it’s a far better option to have him start.

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