Jeff Green Looks Forward to Returning to Celtics Next Season


It's going to be an interesting summer for one of the newest Celtics. Jeff Green got his first three-month taste of life in Boston this spring, but it might be over before it started.

Green, who came over from Oklahoma City in the now-infamous Kendrick Perkins trade on Feb. 24, is finishing out the rookie-scale contract he signed with the Thunder after being drafted in 2007. He's about to become a restricted free agent — meaning anyone can offer him a contract this summer — but the Celtics retain the right to match the offer and keep him.

Green is likely to remain a Celtic after the summer of 2011. And he's fine with that.

"It's a great place," Green said after the Celtics' season-ending loss Wednesday to the Heat. "Just look at the guys they've got on this roster. It's a dream to play with them. These are guys I looked up to growing up. Just having this opportunity has been great, and hopefully I'll have it again."

Green went from a young team in Oklahoma City — surrounded by under-23 stars like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden — to Boston, surrounded by ring-wearing veterans. Kevin Garnett had the locker next to his.

"They were amazing in my couple of months here," Green said of his new teammates. "Coming into a new situation, they helped me out a lot. They taught me a lot. They've been in this league for a long time, so I was right under their wing, just learning everything I could from them. They were great."

Green is already looking forward to next year in Boston. Doc Rivers is leaning toward returning, the veteran Big Three is still intact, and he's ready to make another run in 2012.

"It's going to be a great thing next season," he said. "It'll give us an opportunity to bond even more. We've just got to get better, including myself personally. I'm just looking forward to next year."

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