The 36-year-old wing is looking to stick around in the NBA and decided to come back to the Sixers because of the familiarity he has with the roster and head coach Nick Nurse. In his first time suiting up in the Philly threads at Wells Fargo Center since he tore his ACL in the 2022 playoffs, he impressed to the tune of eight points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds in 12 minutes.
In the Sixers' preseason home opener against the Boston Celtics, Green had perhaps one of the most impressive performances for Philly despite playing just 12 minutes. He moved very well for someone of his age and recent injury history, fighting for loose balls and staying aggressive on both ends. He made stellar passes, including this long, one-handed outlet that Kelly Oubre Jr. cashed in for a triple, hit two of his three downtown attempts and notched a pick-six while fending off the oncoming defenders.
After the game, Green noted the activity and vocality in the group he started out with, saying that their ability to disrupt passing lanes and get stops fueled their offensive attack. Although he said the Sixers weren’t able to keep it up, the fact that they can piece together such good sequences is promising. With a shooter like Green, getting out and finding open transition looks can be a tasty, go-to recipe for Philly.
“Danny's gonna be pretty solid and he's probably gonna have a better night when he makes a few shots, right? And he did,” Nick Nurse said. “He made a couple in the first half. They were pretty tough ones that weren't great offensive rhythm shots and he still was able to knock them in.”
Nurse said that the Sixers' offense was “disjointed” and “unrhythmic” against the Celtics. Yet Green still found the space he needed to hit some shots. It's a skill that Nurse is glad to have at his disposal, especially on a team that he said needs catch-and-shoot artists.
“It's been great man. Danny Green, we love him here,” Tyrese Maxey said. “You know, he hit a couple of crazy threes like Danny Green does but it's good. He's a good locker room person, too. He's an older guy, he's won three chips. He's someone who knows Nick Nurse. He knows how he is, he knows his style. So, he kinda tells guys what coach is thinking sometimes without having to ask coach.”
Green agreed that he can serve as a good “Nick Nurse translator” before embarking on training camp. So far, it seems as though he has been just that for the Sixers. Having a liaison amongst a group of players new to Nurse will be super helpful. However, a Sixers team with veterans at every spot won’t need Green specifically for its veteran leadership. While it obviously wouldn’t hurt, the first bullet point on his pitch for a roster spot will have to be on-court production that enhances the team.
The Sixers will have to make a decision on who to move on from ahead of the regular season. Green's contract has four checkpoints where he must stay on the team that will make it fully guaranteed, with the last one coming in January. If he can continue to hit his shots and keep the fountain of youth close by, Green should have no problems sticking around.