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Greene was a late first-round pick by the Grizzlies in the 2008 Draft, coming out of Syracuse. He was traded twice that summer, ending up in Sacramento, where he spent four seasons. His sophomore season was his best, as he started 50 games and averaged 8.5 points on 44.1% field goal shooting. His playing time declined sharply over the next two years and he found himself out of the NBA in 2012. In 2012-13, Greene spent time with Puerto Rico’s Atléticos de San Germán, before the Grizzlies signed him on April 17. He never played a game for Memphis as the Grizz made a run to the Western Conference Finals.
Melo was also a first-rounder out of Syracuse, in 2012. He spent most of his rookie season with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he lived up to his billing as an outstanding defender and was named to the All-Rookie and All-Defensive first teams. His lack of offensive skills, however, kept him out of the NBA, and he played just 36 minutes over six games with the Celtics.
The trade is somewhat surprising, since the Grizzlies already have one of the best frontcourts in the league and Melo is unlikely to see much playing time there either. The Celtics, for their part, now have just two true centers on their roster: Vítor Faverani and Kelly Olynyk, both rookies. The fact that the Celtics made this deal essentially means that they’ve given up on Melo, but it also leaves them dangerously thin at the center position.
As for Greene, it’s hard to see him becoming a big contributor for a team that’s relatively set at the four position with veterans Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries, as well as Jared Sullinger, who was solid as a rookie. It wouldn’t be surprising now to see Boston make more moves before the season to try and bring balance to the frontcourt.