2012-13 Stats: 16.5 minutes, 6.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, .461 FG%, .428 3P%, .719 FT%, 11.8 PER
Other than Mike Miller during his three-year tenure with the Miami Heat, there isn’t a more “ready” bench player in the NBA than Willie Green.
If Chauncey Billups not been injured last season, it’s unlikely Willie Green is a rotation player for the Los Angeles Clippers. Instead a foot injury kept Billups sidelined until late in the season and that allowed Green to start 60 games last season. Look at the disparity in Green’s minutes when he is a starter compared to a reserve:
Starter: 18.3 minutes per game
Reserve: 7.3 minutes per game
This is what makes Willie Green special. In no way is the 11-year shooting guard a game changer with his talents. He’s an excellent three-point shooter (42 percent behind the arc last season) and is the league mean when it comes to defense. Yet when his number is called there are no complaints from him or his camp and he gets the job done..
Expect Green to continue playing that role. As long as J.J. Redick remains healthy, Green will see little to no action in the season.
Willie’s future as a Clipper could be cut short as the team may attempt to move a contract to avoid the luxury tax. At the moment the Clippers have a total salary of $72.536 million in guaranteed money (HoopsWorld). The tax level for the ’13-14 NBA season if $71.748 million. With next season being non-guaranteed, the Clippers could call around the league to see if anyone is willing to take on Green and his expiring contract of $1.399 million to get under the line. Just another effect of the latest CBA taking place.
If the Doc Rivers decides to keep on Green, the Clippers will always have a guy ready to go. We see how it worked out for Miami when they needed another shooter in Miller. Rivers could do that with Green.