Sources: Celts agree to send Green to Griz
Updated: January 9, 2015, 7:25 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Grizzlies’ Pursuit Of Celtics’ Green Intensifies
The Boston Celtics continue to stay busy on the trade front, shipping newly acquired center Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns on Friday and, according to league sources, agreeing to terms on a trade that will send forward Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsJeff Green didn’t play for the Celtics on Friday night amid the trade talks.
The Celtics, in full rebuild mode in the wake of last month’s trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas, announced the deal to swap Wright to Phoenix for a conditional future first-round pick via Minnesota before Friday’s game in Indiana. Boston also created a trade exception worth $ 5 million in the process by sending out Wright’s $ 5 million contract while taking back no salary.
In the bigger trade, meanwhile, sources say that the Celtics and Grizzlies, in a deal first reported by ESPN.com, are in the process of finalizing a swap that will send Green to Memphis in exchange for Tayshaun Prince’s $ 7.7 million expiring contract and another future first-round pick.
It is possible, sources say, that Boston and Memphis will recruit a third team to join the final trade construction, but one source told ESPN.com that the trade will “most likely” happen with or without a third team.
Green was scheduled to start for Boston at Indiana but did not take the floor with his teammates and was ultimately pulled from the starting lineup and replaced by Jae Crowder.
Prince, meanwhile, was informed of the looming trade by Memphis officials but is expected to play for the Grizzlies in their Friday night game at New Orleans, which would pose no real issues for the Celtics because they’re essentially taking him back for Green because he possesses an expiring contract.
ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Grizzlies were aggressively pursuing Green or Miami Heat swingman Luol Deng in hopes of bolstering their wing rotation in the ever-competitive Western Conference. Green became the focus over the last 48 hours, sources said, when it became apparent that Miami was not yet ready to entertain offers for Deng, who is not even halfway through the first year of a two-year, $ 20 million contract.
The Celtics and Grizzlies, sources said, have been exchanging trade proposals on Green for some time, with Boston ultimately deciding that it was best to trade the 28-year-old now as they continue to stockpile future assets, since Green is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract in July and become a free agent, meaning he could potentially leave without compensation.