2: Danny Green
Allow me to preface this by saying, Danny Green has far and away been the most frustrating and disappointing player for the Lakers in the NBA playoff bubble and without question, it was a gut decision putting him 2nd instead of 1st on this list.
In the Summer of 2019, after missing out on Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and even D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers quickly came to an agreement with Danny Green on a 2 year worth $30 million.
At the time, fans of the purple and gold were pretty excited about the prospect of getting Danny Green. Fresh off a championship run with the Toronto Raptors, Green came to the Lakers with a fantastic reputation.
He was known as a lethal 3-point shooter who was considered automatic when wide open. He was an elite perimeter defender and an even better defender in transition. He has a wealth of championship experience having won a ring in 2014 with Coach Pop and the San Antonio Spurs as well as in 2019 with the Raptors.
Green seemed to check all the boxes for what is needed to succeed next to LeBron James. He is willing to stand in the corner, get out of LeBron’s way, shoot when he is asked to shoot, provide elite defense all the time and best of all, he is a quiet veteran who knows his place and won’t cause any trouble within the locker room.
Fast forward to Round 1 of the 2020 NBA playoffs and Green is responsible for a significant portion of Lakers fans tearing their collective hair out. Frustrating is too kind of a word to describe how inconsistent Danny Green’s shooting has been.
At times, Green is shooting the ball as if it is offensive for him to make a basket. Gone is the Danny Green who when the ball left his fingertips, 9 times out of 10 you are convinced that he is going to make it splash.
Right now, Green is playing as if there is a manhole cover on the rim. It is very clear that Coach Vogel and Green’s teammates are encouraging him to shoot it in hopes of him rekindling his form because they know if that shot begins to fall, the Los Angeles Lakers are a different animal.
That is the only reason why Danny Green is still in the opening line-up. His perimeter defense is solid right now, no longer elite, his saving grace is still his transition defense where he can force his defenders to where he wants to go on the court rather than where they intend to go.
There is a very easy fix for the Lakers. Shift KCP to shooting guard position and slide Alex Caruso into the starting line-up at point guard to start games.
However, don’t expect that to happen. Green for all his poor play this playoff, is potentially on the cusp of finding his jump-shot once again and if that shot begins to fall, he has the potential to unlock the full capabilities of this Lakers roster.
Giving LeBron James and Anthony Davis two sharpshooters in KCP and Danny Green is what superstar players dream of.
If Green finds his shot, the entire floor opens up for the Lakers, the paint opens up for Davis and LeBron as teams will have to respect Green on the perimeter more and in turn, it makes it so much easier to get better quality buckets for everyone involved.
Fans of the purple and gold pray that Green finds his shooting touch because if he does, it turns the Lakers from Championship contenders to championship favorites.