Jeff Green has quite the career in the NBA and is one of the most experienced players on the Magic’s roster. He was born in Cheverly, Maryland where he became a standout in the Washington D.C. area for basketball. In 2004 he led his high school team, the Northwestern Wildcats to the state championship which led to a few different college scouts noticing him. However, those colleges didn’t stand a chance since Georgetown University had set their sights on Green a year before. The coach who first approached him, Craig Esherick, was fired before Green actually attended school but nonetheless still decided to play basketball at Georgetown.
His time in college completely shaped Jeff Green into the player he is today. His coach, John Thompson III, has consistently been mentioned in interviews because Green has credited him with being the greatest coach he’s ever played for. On the other side, Thompson also gave him incredible amounts of praise, calling Green “the smartest player I’ve ever coached”. It was unsurprising that he would be named captain of the Georgetown team and won Big East Rookie of the Year in 2005. The following year, he earned All-Big East Second Team honors before finally making it to All-Big East First Team in his junior year. In 2007, he led the Georgetown Hoyas to the Big East Championship, which they won, and he was rewarded for his excellent game with a Most Outstanding Player accolade. Although they didn’t win the title, Green decided to capitalize on the national attention he was receiving for basketball and enter the draft a year early. Unlike other players though, Green chose to spend four more summers taking classes in his free-time at Georgetown so that he could graduate with an English degree in 2012.
The Boston Celtics picked up Jeff Green in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft with their fifth pick however they traded him later that night to the Seattle SuperSonics (the team would be sold and renamed Oklahoma City Thunder). It only took one year before the SuperSonics were sold to Oklahoma City and renamed but before that Green was named NBA All-Rookie First Team. He averaged 10.5 points, 1.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 42.7% field goal percentage, and 28.2 minutes per game as a rookie. Green would spend three more years with Seattle and he became quite the impressive basketball player. Sadly, the Thunder were still in a rebuilding mode and after some carefully chosen draft picks, Green would be traded away to the Boston Celtics. At first, he didn’t appear to mesh well with Celtics and he only showcased an average performance for his new team. However, Green consistently improved under the Boston coaching staff and by his final season in 2014-2015, he was averaging 17.6 points, 1.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 43.4% field goal percentage, and 33.1 minutes per game.
Despite his success, the Celtics opted to trade Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies where he saw a minor drop in minutes and statistics. His steady decline in numbers led to the Grizzlies trading him midway his second season to the Los Angeles Clippers. Green would only play in twenty-seven games with the Clippers where he averaged 10.9 points, 1.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 42.7 % field goal percentage, and 26.3 minutes per game. At the end of the season, he was released from the Los Angeles roster and he went out to find a new team.
In the summer of 2016, the Orlando Magic decided that Jeff Green still had some of that spark in him and opted to give him another chance on their roster. So far, Green has performed quite well, coming off the bench and playing some good, back-to-basics basketball. While his numbers are still down, this at least makes more sense since Green is playing more of a relief player rather than a starter. So far his best game came in a win against the Washington Wizards where he scored 20 points, 1 steal, 3 rebounds, 66.7% field goal percentage, and 25 minutes. With numbers like those, he could become an extraordinary presence coming off the bench as well as become a solid veteran teacher to some of the younger members.