After engaging in “active discussions” with LeBron James, free-agent forward Jeff Green has agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cavaliers, ESPN.com reported.
In what would be a more significant move, cleveland.com has reported that guard Jamal Crawford has reached out to James to express his interest in joining the Cavs as well.
Green adds athleticism to the Cavs’ bench and has the versatility to guard multiple positions on defense, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Despite his deal being for the minimum, Green will cost the Cavs almost $8 million in salary and luxury tax next season. With a payroll of over $135 million, the team is on the hook for a tax bill of more than $46 million. The NBA salary cap for next season is set at $99.093 million, with the tax level at $119.266 million, per NBA.com.
Green, an NBA journeyman who has played for the Sonics/Thunder, Celtics, Grizzlies, Clippers and Magic, has career averages of 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds. He averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds over 22 minutes per game in Orlando last season.
Crawford, meanwhile, is expected to negotiate a buyout with the Hawks after being traded by the Clippers. According to cleveland.com, the most the Cavs can pay him is the taxpayer’s mid-level exception (about $5.2 million), but he’s willing to accept less than his market value for the chance to play alongside James.