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Jeff Green Excited To Play On Defensive Side For Utah Jazz

New Utah Jazz forward Jeff Green and center/forward Ed Davis pose for a photo with their jerseys during a press conference at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 26, 2019. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz formally introduced Jeff Green and Ed Davis. The main thing that stood out for excitement for Green was the defensive side of the ball.

Green has spent his career guarding both on the perimeter and in the post due to his versatility.

Now that he is with the Utah Jazz, Green is excited to play for the Jazz because of who they have guarding the paint and protecting the rim.

“Having Ed (Davis) and Rudy (Gobert)—two guys who are going to be in the trenches, they’re going to battle, they’re going to fight. Having bigs like that—for a guy who has to guard on the perimeter—that’s very comforting,” Green said at the introductory press conference.

Green spent the 2018-19 season with the Washington Wizards, where he averaged 12.3 points, 4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 47 percent from the field, including 34 percent from the three-point line.

Why The Jazz?

Green chose the Utah Jazz over other teams because of the potential this new roster has to contend for an NBA championship.

He hasn’t spoken to the Jazz coaching staff a lot yet to figure out his role on the team, but he knows one thing will be brought up when they dive into exactly what his role will be.

“The talk will probably be about being in the Finals and how we will get there,” Green said.

The veteran forward appeared in the NBA Finals in 2018 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Throughout his 11 year career, Green has averaged 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Green will bring his veteran leadership and could very well start as the power forward for the Jazz this upcoming season.

Relationship With Mike Conley

Like Davis, Green has also played with future Jazz point guard Mike Conley when they were both in Memphis from 2015-16. They have a great relationship and their families are close.

When Green first signed with the Jazz, Conley wasn’t the first player on the roster to reach out to him. That was Donovan Mitchell.

Green signed a minimum deal with the Jazz and has now signed three straight contracts that were one year each for the veteran minimum. Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade tweeted out during the beginning stages of free agency and expressed his opinion on Green always signing minimum contracts.

Green feels some disrespect when teams only want to sign him for the veteran minimum but he wants to win first.

“First, I want to win. I have put in the work to not get minimum deals. I look at it as a motivation. You take the best opportunity that is given,” Green said.