The Denver Nuggets will be looking a bit different this season, after a few key pieces from last year’s title team headed to new homes this summer. Amongst them was Jeff Green, a 37-year-old veteran wing who’s played for nearly half of the league’s teams.
As a free agent, Green elected to join the Houston Rockets on a two-year, $16 million contract.
During his time with the Nuggets, the former No. 5 overall pick provided some leadership for the team’s locker room.
Denver held its media day on Monday morning, where Michael Porter Jr. was questioned about Green’s departure and the leadership void that it leaves.
He took the opportunity to poke fun at Green’s age, before explaining that a lot of guys on the team are going to have to step into that type of role this season.
“Well first of all, have you seen how bald Jeff is? He’s so bald,” Porter Jr. joked (h/t Mile High Sports). “No, we’ve got good leaders on our team. DeAndre (Jordan), KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope). We’ve got to — you know as we get older — take some of these younger guys under our wing.”
The Denver Nuggets may miss Jeff Green & Bruce Brown
Green appeared in all 20 of the Nuggets’ playoff games on the way to their championship last season. He averaged 4.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game in about 17.4 minutes each time.
He wasn’t dominating in any way, but his veteran know-how was something that allowed head coach Michael Malone to trust him in big spots.
The same can be said for Bruce Brown, who bolted to the Indiana Pacers on a two-year, $45 million contract. He was another key contributor to Denver’s success and will certainly be missed this year.
The Nuggets will have to turn to the likes of Christian Brown to eat those minutes now. Though Braun looked like he may be ready for that sort of responsibility last year, there’s no guarantee that it all goes smoothly.