Denver Nuggets rookie Erick Green will play in the Euroleague for the Italian team Montepaschi Siena in 2013-14, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
This move comes as no surprise with the re-signing of restricted-free agent Timofey Mozgov. With Mozgov, the Nuggets reached their 15-player roster capacity.
With the recent signing of Nate Robinson, the Nuggets also have three point guards on their roster which was another indication the team wouldn’t sign Green.
The Nuggets will retain Green’s rights for one year after his deal with Siena expires via the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Green will play on a coveted team with Siena.
Siena has won seven consecutive Italian Championships, five Italian Cups and five Italian Supercups. In 2011, the team finished third in the European Championships after beating Real Madrid 80-62.
Green could potentially play alongside standout guard Bobby Brown. Brown won the Euroleague’s Alphonso Ford Trophy last season, which recognizes the top scorer in the league, averaging 18.8 points for Siena. However, Brown has seen interest from a few NBA teams this offseason–including the New York Knicks, whom he worked out with on July 16.
The coaching situation in Siena will help Green’s development.
Marco Crespi, the new coach of Siena, is highly respected in the international basketball community. Crespi has coached on multiple teams in Europe and has also made an impact in the NBA. In 2004, the Boston Celtics hired Crespi as their Director for International Scouting.
In the 2013 NBA Summer League, Green averaged 9.1 points on 44 percent shooting from three in 21 minutes. The rookie played consistently at the point, only giving up one turnover per game.
However, playing overseas is the next best thing for him. If Green improves his defensive abilities and increases his number of assists while in Italy, he should make the Nuggets’ roster in 2014.