It does not appear that Danny Green’s final appearance as a member of the Sixers will come on crutches.
The veteran wing has signed a one-year deal with the team, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark late Tuesday night.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news and wrote that Green’s “relationships — especially with Joel Embiid and new coach Nick Nurse — play a part in the team’s desire to bring him into training camp with a strong chance to make the opening night roster.”
The last time Embiid and Green shared the court, the All-Star big man inadvertently toppled into Green’s left leg. Green suffered ACL and LCL tears in the first quarter of the Sixers’ dismal Game 6 playoff loss to the Heat in 2022.
Despite the severity of his injury, Green was determined to return to the sideline for the closing minutes.
“I just thought it was important to be there with them,” Green said the next day. “I was trying to come out earlier, but the doc didn’t think it was a good idea. He wanted to keep the swelling down for the MRI. But I was like, ‘I’m just putting my sweatshirt on, just going to sit at a table and watch the game,’ whether it’s to help coaching or encouraging, just to have my energy there for them. … I was finally able to sneak out there the last couple minutes of the fourth to see my guys and say goodbye to the fans.”
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey voiced his admiration for Green in the wake of Game 6.
“What I love about Danny is he’s played one thousand years and he still has this zest to show up every day and play every day, and he loves it every day,” Morey said. “He has not lost any energy as far as wanting to be a player. And I’m telling you, as a coach, you don’t get a lot of those. And so he’s a valuable guy to have on our team. Obviously, when he went out … that hurt us. Not just his play but emotionally, that hurt us.”
Green’s rehab work enabled him to play 11 regular-season games last year — three with the Grizzlies, eight with the Cavs. He also received 40 total minutes during Cleveland’s first-round series loss to the Knicks.
Over 131 games as a Sixer in his initial stint, Green played 25.1 minutes per game and averaged 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals. He shot 39.5 percent from three-point range, which is a shade below his career mark.
While his on-court role will surely be smaller this time around, Green’s back in a familiar spot.
The Sixers on Tuesday also signed 23-year-old guard David Duke Jr. to an Exhibit 10 contract, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell reported. Duke played in 45 games for Brooklyn across the past two seasons. He logged considerable minutes for the Long Island Nets and posted 22.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals in the 2022-23 G League regular season.
With the Sixers now at 20 players on their roster, below is a rough depth chart. Twenty-one players is the offseason limit, 18 (15 and three two-way contracts) the regular-season limit.
Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Jaden Springer, Terquavion Smith (two-way contract), Ricky Council IV (two-way contract), David Duke Jr. (Exhibit 10)
Tobias Harris, Danuel House Jr., Furkan Korkmaz, Danny Green
P.J. Tucker, Paul Reed, Filip Petrušev (partially guaranteed contract)
Joel Embiid, Mo Bamba, Ąžuolas Tubelis (two-way contract), Montrezl Harrell (injured, out indefinitely)
Source: Yahoo Sports