It's not easy being Green right now

Former Florida point guard Taurean Green just finished going through as turbulent a first year in the NBA as anyone could imagine. His potential second season is now in limbo. Green is looking for a new team after being released by the New York Knicks this week.

Green began his NBA career as a second round pick with the Portland Trail Blazers. Players drafted 52nd overall aren't typically expected to make the franchise's roster, but Green impressed coach Nate McMillan enough to start the season with the team. After a month, he found himself sent down to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League for a couple of weeks as a way to get him some game time. Two months later, in a trade deadline deal, Green found himself traded to the Denver Nuggets for former FSU star Von Wafer.

Green played in 17 NBA games last year, averaging 1.6 points per game during 4.4 minutes of work. After spending chunks of his first season living in three different western states, Green was looking forward to a more stable second year with the Nuggets. They had other plans, sending his contract rights along with another player and a second round draft pick to New York in a trade for former South Carolina player Renaldo Balkman.

Unfortunately for Green, the Knicks weren't viewing him as a meaningful acquisition. Because his contract was not guaranteed for 2008-09, he could be cut without costing New York a thing. The Knicks were able to shed the remaining portion of Balkman's first round contract from their salary cap, and released Green after one day to avoid adding any salary. In an ironic twist, Green's former Florida teammate Anthony Roberson's presence on the Knicks roster with a two year contract is likely what kept Green from even getting a look with them in training camp.

So what comes next for Green? Europe is always an option, as is the NBDL, but he could have opportunities back in Florida. Each of the state's NBA franchises currently could use a backup point guard, and it doesn't hurt that a Green signing might help either team sell more merchandise and tickets to Gator fans. Orlando was reported to have had interest in Green prior to the 2007 draft, so that may be the better fit of the two possibilities.


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