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Danny Green, who took massive discount with Spurs: ‘I took what I was worth’

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 15: Danny Green #14 of the San Antonio Spurs warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 15, 2015 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

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Danny Green took way less than he was worth on his four-year, $40 million contract with the Spurs.

Here’s another way of looking at it.

Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News:

There are a few possibilities:

1. Green is just talking humbly. This is most likely.

2. Gregg Popovich has brainwashed him. At this point, that seems possible.

3. Green has no concept of his market value. That would be disappointing for him and his agent.

I think Green could have gotten a max contract if he desired. If not, he could have come close. He certainly could have gotten more than $10 million per season.

But he chose to stay with the Spurs, who have been great for his career. And that’s fine. It’s his decision.

I just hope he realizes he passed up about $30 million to make that decision.

Unlike Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Green didn’t need to take less to make room for LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs used Green’s low cap hold to create space, signed Aldridge and then exceeded the cap to re-sign Green with Bird Rights. They could have given him up to a max contract and still assembled the same roster.

It would have just cost them money.

Some will surely assign virtue in Green’s decision. Green even might.

Again, that’s fine. It’s his decision.

But the money is there. If it doesn’t go to Green, it stays with the Spurs owners, whose wealth totals in the billions. I don’t consider Green allowing that group to have more money virtuous.

Remember, the discount he took this season didn’t give the Spurs additional flexibility. Green being paid less than market value in future seasons will help in roster-building, but if that were his concern, he could have taken more this season and less in future years.

Green is assuredly not being paid what he’s worth. It seems he’s OK with that, and more power to him. Money isn’t everything.

But I bet the Spurs’ owners will happily count the millions Green allowed them to keep.