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Danny Green's contract is the best value in the NBA

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Danny Green is the king of 3-and-D and his hometown deal was one of the best moves of the offseason.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Green gave the Spurs a major hometown discount to stay in San Antonio. His sacrifice (along with those of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili) ensured that the Spurs could hand the max to LaMarcus Aldridge. This has been well-documented, but what's been overlooked is the fact that Danny Green is the league's best 3-and-D wingman -- by a large margin -- and his signing arguably the best bargain of the offseason.

Not "just another shooter"

Green is an efficient shooter, but how efficient he's been might surprise you. According to Synergy Sports, Danny scores a blistering 1.19 points per possession on spot-up jumpers. He coupled that with the third highest effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot field goals in the league, trailing only Kyle Korver and Steph Curry. He makes and takes such a large number of these shots that he has become one of the most efficient players in the league.

Over the past three seasons, only five players have taken at least 1000 three-pointers and shot 40 percent or better from beyond the arc and Green is one of them. He's posted an average True Shooting percentage of 59 percent in the past four seasons. It's ironic that the Spurs' most consistent player on both ends of the floor (aside from the superhuman Duncan) has been dubbed "icy hot".

The reason Green is so consistently good is because he knows his strengths. Seldom does Danny push the limits of his game. He makes well-timed cuts, finds a spot in the corner or in the paint, and lets his teammates kick it to him. Just check out his shooting charts from his tenure in San Antonio:

2012-13

danny12-13

2013-14

danny13-14

2014-15

danny2014-15

He has always fully understood his offensive role with the team, which is essentially threes, open layups, or an occasional mid-range jumper. Because he stays within the game plan, he helps to create the spacing that allows Tony, Tim, Manu, Boris, and Kawhi to operate. What's exhilarating is that the offensive end isn't the only area in which he shines.

Elite defense

I've talked about Danny's defense before, and called him a premier defender. As great as his defensive numbers were in the 2013-14 season, they've only gotten better now that he doesn't have to always defend the other team's best offensive player.

Defensive stats are tricky things but let's start with his individual numbers. In the 2014-15 season, Green was in the top 56 for points allowed per possession in every defensive category* among players with at least a third of the possessions as the categories' leader, per Synergy Sports stats. He's just an incredibly well-rounded defender that can do well on the ball or off.

Play Type

Number of Possessions

Points per Possession

eFG%

Rank

Isolation

86

0.64

34.3

14

Spot-Up

192

0.89

46.0

48

Off-Screen

112

0.86

39.0

49

Hand-Off

83

0.81

38.4

48

PnR: Ball Handler

260

0.82

42.9

57

*Not including pick-and-roll D on the roll man and post-ups where he had a negligibly small number of possessions

If that's not enough, Basketball-Reference had Danny Green 16th in the league in defensive rating while the Spurs were a full point better on defense than their average per 100 possessions with Green on the floor. Per NBA.com/Stats, among players that qualify as guard/forwards, his percentage point differential (field goal percentage against Green vs. typical field goal percentage of the player taking the shot), Danny ranks seventh. He's 48th overall in defensive real plus minus and eighth among shooting guards.

There are no stats that suggest Green is anything other than one of the best defenders at his position and the eye test all but confirms that he's as good as the numbers bear out, except for the occasional off ball mistake. In almost any team Danny would be the best perimeter defender in the roster.

Two-way excellence and durability

So how does Green stack up against the 3-and-D competition? Pretty darn well, especially considering injuries headed into next season. Wes Matthews and Kyle Korver could be considered Green's equals, but both are coming off potentially career-changing surgeries. The rest of Green's competition doesn't seem even close to touching his throne of best 3-and-D wing in the business.

There are comparable defensive players -- at least in terms of reputation, as most numbers suggest Green is the better player. Trevor Ariza, Nicolas Batium or even the versatile Al-Farouq Aminu can be mentioned in that list, but they are not close to being the offensive weapon Green is.

Aside from a blistering 2013-14 season with the Wizards on a contract year, Ariza has never come close to touching the astounding numbers that Danny has hit in his tenure with San Antonio. Aminu is a career 28 percent outside shooter who is just now beginning to hit from the corners and Batum has declined as a shooter as he's taken more of a playmaker role.

There are Danny Green lite options, like PJ Tucker or Jared Dudley. Tucker is a worse shooter, logging a serviceable 34.5% from deep last year, and slightly worse in every defensive play type except for off-screen defense, where he only allows 0.81 points per possession. Dudley is a good shooter but is equally inferior on the other end. Both are also two years older than Green, so there isn't much promise that they'll ever develop into the 3-and-D player Green is.

The cheapest of the best

Two names have been consistently considered to be in Green's echelon entering this offseason: DeMarre Carroll and Khris Middleton.

Carroll has been a defensive stalwart for a few years now, but it wasn't until midway through the 2013-14 season with the Hawks that he found an offensive role as a knockdown shooter. He hit an impressive 39.5% of his threes last year, but is still not near Danny's 41.3%. Defensively, Carroll had a bigger role and locks down just about any man sent his way, but he trails Green in some key stats, such as isolation defense and defensive real plus minus, where he ranks as a negative.

Middleton is a plus minus darling who has eye-popping numbers in almost every defensive stats but the eye test suggest some reasons for skepticism. He's a more well-rounded offensive player but it remains to be seen if he can continue to sustain his production over time after just two seasons in the spotlight and only one on a playoff team. He could be a star or could plateau in his development.

Regardless of how you have those three guys ranked, they are comparable players. Yet Green will make an average of $11.1 million over the next four years while Middleton will make $14.2 and Carroll $15 million. That's a huge difference.

According to Tom Ziller's free agent rankings, Danny Green was the 14th best free agent with the 28th highest paying contract of the offseason. Now that's not an end-all-be-all point, but it certainly helps illustrate just how good -- and cheap -- Danny is.

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Danny Green is arguably the best 3-and-D wing in the league and somehow re-signed with the Spurs on a fantastic contract. There might have been flashier moves but few that are so clearly great both in terms of fit and value.