The compacted NBA schedule was expected to take quite a toll on the veteran-laden Boston Celtics.
Yet, before a game has even been played, the team has lost one of its younger contributors, Jeff Green, for the season.
Green will undergo surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm detected in a routine physical and his one-year contract will be voided.
The operation is expected to “completely repair” Green’s condition and he is expected to return next season, the Celtics said in a release.
Green arrived in Boston in a controversial deal for starting centre Kendrick Perkins — a move that has been heavily panned from the moment it was made.
The pick used to select Green, No. 5 overall in 2007, was traded by Boston for superstar guard Ray Allen.
Green was lucky his ailment was detected. All-star forward Reggie Lewis died on a practice court from a heart condition back in 1993 and the Celtics lost Len Bias, the No. 2 overall selection of the 1986 draft, to cardiac arrhythmia brought on by a cocaine overdose — just two days after that draft.
Green, 25, averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season and was expected to back up both forward spots.
The Georgetown product tweeted on Saturday: “Thank u everyone for ur thoughts and prayers much appreciated love u all ... and I’ll be back soon stronger and better than ever I promise.”
The aneurysm was detected earlier this month.
PISTON SIGN STUCKEY
Detroit’s backcourt got a little more crowded on Saturday.
Though there had been reports a deal might not get done, the Pistons inked restricted free agent point guard Rodney Stuckey to a three-year, $25 million U.S. contract.
The team drafted Brandon Knight out of Kentucky with the eighth pick of the 2011 draft and also has the effective Will Bynum, but all three can play either backcourt position.
Stuckey led the Pistons in scoring at 15.5 points per game last season but clashed at times with since fired head coach John Kuester.
He has averaged 13.6 points and 4.5 assists over four seasons.
The Pistons also have Ben Gordon, who has been a massive disappointment since signing a huge free agent contract. Gordon’s minutes should increase with Rip Hamilton off to Gordon’s former team, the Chicago Bulls.
LAKERS ADD MURPHY
Los Angeles Lakers struck out on Chris Paul and hasn’t found a way to add Dwight Howard – yet – but the team is bringing Troy Murphy into the fold.
The big man was terrible last season, but used to be a double-double threat who could step outside and hit the three.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Murphy has signed a one-year contract. In essence, he should replace Lamar Odom.
AROUND THE RIM
Brampton’s Tristan Thompson made his NBA pre-season debut on Friday and had a decent outing, despite foul trouble. Thompson overcame five fouls to score eight points, added five rebounds and blocked two shots in 22 minutes … Cleveland did not use the $14.5 million trade exception it received in the LeBron James sign-and-trade. Toronto opted to not use the $9 million remaining on its trade exception from the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade … According to the Washington Post, high-scoring free agent guard Nick Young is angling for a $9 million per season contract. That’s an absurd request for a one-dimesional, largely unproven player, so it might be a while before Young finds a team willing to give him a huge multi-year contract. Young averaged 17.4 points per game in 2010-11 … Baron Davis cleared waivers and might find a team by Monday, according to reports. New York is considered the front-runner, but the Knicks were also after another amnesty victim, Travis Outlaw, formerly of the New Jersey Nets, but the Sacramento Kings picked Outlaw up. Davis might be out for two months because of a back problem, but the Knicks could use him if the price is right.