The Bulls need some creativity to get through a difficult summer. So maybe a guy like Gerald Green would be a nice fit.
Green is planning to visit the Bulls this weekend, according to Peter Vecsey of the New York Post. Last season in 31 games for the Nets, the 6-7 Green averaged 12.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and shot 48.1 percent from the field.
Long before that, Green was a sparkling example of why the NBA was so desperate to end the cycle of players turning pro straight from high school.
The Houston native got off to a slow start in high school basketball because of his grades, before ending up at a charter school for troubled kids. That’s where he blossomed into one of the nation’s top prospects. Smooth and athletic (39-inch vertical, per Draft Express), Green won the slam dunk contest at the McDonald’s All-America Game and declared for the NBA.
Before the draft, he limited his workouts to teams with the top six picks and was chosen 18th by Boston. He won the NBA dunk contest in 2007. But after two years with the Celtics and short stints with Minnesota, Houston and Dallas, he was out of the league by 2009.
Green failed because he never learned how to play the game. He was woefully unprepared for pro basketball and couldn’t catch up while glued to the bench.
He actually thought about attending college in ’09 before signing with a Russian team. He played in Russia, China and the D-League before returning to the NBA with the Nets.
During 31 games last season, Green scored 20 or more points seven times, including a 32-point performance against Cleveland on April 8.
Rolling up quality stats for a bad team late in the season does not necessarily make someone a rising star. But now at age 26, maybe Green has figured some things out and is ready to become a quality player.
The Bulls don’t have first pick of free agents this summer, with no more than $3 million to offer without a sign-and-trade. But surely there are players out there who appreciate that teaming with a superstar is the way to win big in the NBA, and the Bulls should get Derrick Rose back sometime next season.
There are still plenty of names out there and the Bulls just need to fill a few spots.