Not long after losing Jerami Grant, the Nuggets found his short-term replacement. Denver signed forward JaMychal Green to a two-year, $15 million deal Friday, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The second year will be a player option. Green, 30, spent the last season and a half with the Clippers, averaging 6.8 points per game in 2020. The Alabama product has greatly improved his range over the course of his career, and shot nearly 39% from three last season. Let’s grade the deal.
This is a solid, sensible move for both parties here. Losing Grant was a big blow for the Nuggets, and while Green isn’t a one-for-one replacement, he still brings decent value. Most importantly, Green will fit nicely in the power forward spot, and he should feast on open shots playing with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Green doesn’t have the overall versatility of someone like Grant. He won’t create his own offense and he shouldn’t really defend speedier forwards. But, he can guard bigs adequately, and he can contribute to a good team defense. One area where Green has an advantage on Grant is rebounding, which was an issue at times for Denver in the conference finals. The move also provides insurance in the event Paul Millsap finds a new home.
Green was a really solid cog in the Clippers’ machine last year, but he became expendable after the team shelled out big bucks for Marcus Morris. It’s still going to take some time for Denver to recover from the blow of losing Grant, but so far in 2020, role players are signing some bigger contracts than most expected. Finding the perfect veteran for the mid-level exception has proved to be a pie-in-the-sky proposition. Morris, Grant, Danilo Gallinari and even Christian Wood have all signed for more than the midlevel. So while Green may not be the most exciting pickup for a team that was looking to add to its contending core, considering the market dynamics at play, he’s still a worthwhile pickup for the Nuggets.