Shining in the shadows
[A]fter a 32-point, 13-rebound effort in Seattle’s final Vegas summer game Sunday against Portland, Green is no longer an afterthought. Green’s versatility was one of the main reasons Sonics general manager Sam Presti was willing to trade franchise player Ray Allen on draft day for the opportunity to get Green with Boston’s No. 5 pick. “Our staff felt like Jeff would be a tremendous complement to Kevin,” Presti said. “He’s a player that doesn’t need the ball to be effective. He’s a tremendous facilitator and passer. He’s got a great acumen for the game. “When he was at Georgetown, playing in that system really helped make him better. He’s played in situations and he’s played in parameters that really helped him develop as an all-around basketball player.”
For somebody known for his willingness to pass first, Green piled up the accolades while at Georgetown. During his junior season he led the Hoyas’ resurgence to national prominence, earning Big East Conference player of the year honors and leading Georgetown to its first Final Four since 1985. “He is an extremely smart player in terms of being able to see things and adjust and adapt,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “He is comfortable in every situation on the court. He can make plays. But at the end of the day, not only can he get his own, but he makes his teammates better.” Green, who turns 21 on Aug. 28, also was selected the most outstanding player of the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament’s East Regional. He averaged 14.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game last season.
Green said Georgetown’s regimented, Princeton-style offense helped develop his game for the NBA. “Playing at Georgetown allowed me to work on every aspect of my game – dribbling, shooting and playing different positions,” Green said. “So I feel like Georgetown helped me out a lot trying to make this transition to the NBA.”