It is 72 hours or so before draft night 2012 as I type this, and today we examine the pluses and minuses of the veteran forward from Michigan State, Draymond Green. This is the 10th draft profile this season, for the profiles of Arnett Moultrie,Fab Melo, Moe Harkless, Jeff Taylor, Marquis Teague, Royce White, Tyler Zeller,Andrew Nicholson and Orlando Johnson you can look elsewhere on this site.
Green measured in at the NBA combine at 67 ½, with awingspan 71 Ό. He also had his weight down to about 236lbs, but it certainly appeared that Green played heavier than that at Michigan State. A 4 year player of extremely high character and intelligence, Green would appear to be the type of experienced, mature player that our current front office usually prefers. Green is under heavy consideration by Indiana we know, as he is getting a second workout with the team this week before the draft we found out earlier today.
So with the knowledge that Green seems like the kind of guywith the background that Indiana prefers, lets put his actual game under theTbird microscope today:
I think the first thing that has to be discussed with Green is, who can he guard and what position can he play at the next level?
To me, it has always been obvious to me that he would have to play as an undersized 4 man, more so than a wing ..I am amazed at some of the scouts who project him to be a wing at the next level. Green is clearly a frontcourt 4 man who will have to play against bigger guys and use his strength and intelligence to be able to guard people, he will never ever be able tohandle playing on the perimeter defensively in my view. He has got to guard 4sat the NBA level or he cant play.
But he is a bit of a defensive tweener. Lacking height and athleticism, most NBA 4 men who are decent with their back to the basket will be able to simply turn and shoot over him, as Greens long arms will be negated by his lack of quick hops and athleticism. Where he can compensate is being strong with a great lower base, and he should be able to push guys off their spot a bit inside and at least make people take semi contested shots over him,but against good offensive players I think Green is a guy who will need double team help quite a bit of the time.
But clearly this is preferable to asking him to guard guys on the perimeter. Green is slow in his defensive slide, and really stands up out of his athletic stance when he has to guard in space more than 2 slides. He brings his feet together to closely, and can be crossed over by good offensive ballhandlers way too easy. Guarding the ball against anyone in space with decent quickness is going to be a problem for him I think, so he has to guard non ballhandling type big guys.
I also see him being a bit weak in the ballscreen defense aspect, though I think he can be better at this than some other situations he will be faced with. If asked to hedge and hedge hard, I think he can use a quick one step or 2 step slide to stop a ballhandler reasonably well, but where I see real trouble for him is in the recovery/scramble back to his man. Green stands up out of his stance before he runs back after making a hard hedge,which at the NBA level is death .he will be too late to get to shooters consistently if he doesnt get better at that. More than likely, with Indiana he would be asked to stay back some in the lane area, and be asked to try and head off a dribbler with a full head of steam. In playing with this strategy, Ithink teams will simply drive by him or stop and shoot in his grill, as Green lacks the ability and burst to jump quickly and contest jump shots right in his face.
So basically, I think we will struggle in the post against bigger guys, be unable to guard 4 men who can face him up and drive him in space, and will struggle with ballscreen defense. He will be able to use his strength and intelligence to push people off the block some, and he is a smart defender who understands team concepts and scouting reports, but still .the athletic disadvantage I think is a problem.
Away from the ball, he isnt and will never be a shotblocker, but his is a guy who will take a charge for you, or at least commit a hard physical foul. His placement and footwork as a help defender are excellent, and you can tell he was very well taught by one of the nations best coaches in Tom Izzo at Michigan State. And as a help defender, Green is probably the single best defensive communicator in this class, being very verbal and intelligent defensively is an underrated skill, and I see him as the best communicator on the floor in this years draft.
Overall, a mixed bag, but you can clearly see some major potential issues there.
Green is a really good rebounder, if you like old school fundamentals. No one teaches the blockout and pursuit of the ball reboundtechnique better than the coaches at East Lansing, and Green was an excellent student of their style.
Very much a blockout and hold kind of rebounder, Green is aggressive going after the ball within his own area. Rarely will he get any rebounds outside his area though, and as an offensive rebounder he doesnt have the quickness or quick twitch leaping ability to get them unless the come very close to him. But as a defensive rebounder, he is a blockout machine, and he gets low and physical into your torso and legs, knocking you backwards when blocking you out. He is a space eater, but he doesnt always keep good balance when blocking out an occasionally he will get a body into you but fail to actually jump into the air. Almost all of his rebounds are below the rim.
This tremendous blockout has both pros and cons. If you like that and prefer it, youll like seeing him blockout opponents hard, and youll be sure to know that likely there is no chance that his opponent will get to many balls. But he isnt going to get anything that doesnt come near him,which will always keep him from being elite.
Where his numbers are better than his abilities inrebounding is in a stat that doesnt exist: rebounding area percentage. He has great hands, and gets his paws on balls at a very high rate within his own space and doesnt lose them or fumble them. But because they are almost all below the rim, I fear that at this level he will lead the league in rebounds ALMOST gotten, but not actually obtained.
Overall, I do not project him to be anything but average at the next level on the glass, and he might be below average. But he will blockout his own guy, he will work at it each time, and anything near him that he can reach he will get. But he will be outjumped a lot at the pro level, andI doubt he will be able to get those tough, in crowded places, crucial boards in big moments.
His one outstanding skill in regards to rebounding his is ability to make the outlet pass out of a defensive rebound. He is really really good at this, always turning to his outside shoulder and having the touch and ability to make the 2 hand overhead pass to start fast breaks. Michigan States fast break was extremely hard to stop, and the first reason for that was all the great outlet passes they got from Draymond Green after a defensive rebound.
Offensively, Green is somewhat limited, or at least will beat the next level.
Green wasnt much of a post-up threat in college against bigger guys, and his post-up game will be almost non-existent I think at thislevel.
Green doesnt have a move that he can get off with any accuracy against bigger defenders. His drop step is ok but he cant explode off the balls of his feet well enough to go over anyone, and he cant elevate high enough on any post move going to the middle of the floor to score. He kind of has to score AROUND you inside, more than over you. I project that to be amajor problem. Against any opponent that he cant just use total brute strength against, I think he will struggle to score in the post over them.
On the perimeter, he has a very intelligent and old mankind of game. He is an extremely high level passer, especially from the middle of the floor. From the wings, he is an above average passer, but from the topof the circle or slot areas, he is deadly .he is exceptional for a big man at reading the defensive rotations and situations and hitting open cutters, an attribute the Spartans took advantage of a lot in college, where they got hithe ball at the top and used him as a point forward type in some of their set plays or quick hitters.
Draymond Green is a very accurate set shooter out to 20feet, and I expect he will try and expand his range to the NBA 3 point line eventually to add another weapon to his arsenal. However, he takes a lot of time to get his shot off, and gets almost no elevation off the floor when shooting it. I worry about that, because I dont see it changing. If he has to hurry or rush his shot just to get it off, I doubt he can maintain his accuracy. This is a major concern.
He should be an excellent pick and pop player, because he has nice footwork and can make the open 18 foot shot if he has time. I would imagine that occasionally he might see some minutes at the 5 spot against certain teams, when teams try and drag their opponents center out on the floor away from the basket, sort of like Orlando uses Big Baby Davis. But, like I said earlier, his flat footed release and lack of elevation is a little worrisome.
I will say this, Green is a hell of a screener, and he would immediately be our best screener if we ended up with him. He really lays the wood to people, and is nimble enough to get really good screen angles on defenders,shuffling his feet ever so slightly to get teammates open in the optimum way. And he is so strong with that low center of gravity that teams that try andjust power through his screens are going to feel it the next day.
So what do we have in Draymond Green?
I think we have an undersized power forward with great intelligence and intangibles, a player who has been a leader and winner wherever he has played. But I also think we have a guy with limited upside thatis going to be a major defensive liability and who has an offensive game that am not sure translates well to the next level.
I see the appeal he would have for teams, as a glue guy/roleplayer type, and as a guy who would be a great locker room guy. If that is what you want and value, then he can do that for you.
But as for me, I just think he is too small to be a good quality 4 guy, too slow to play a 3, and without a good enough one translatable skill on the floor to make him a guy I would take as a first round pick.
If I am Indiana, Id pass at pick #26. I have serious doubts about Draymond Greens game translating to the next level. Defensively just way too weak for my vision of how this team can be built is Green.
Not because I dontlike the kid (nobody gives a better interview than Draymond Green, or will be more appreciative of the opportunity), but because I think we can do better and I dont think he fits well with what we already have.
If Indiana does select Green, I think you have to start raising major red flags at Tyler Hansbrough, because clearly this would be a message to him that he is either going to be dealt or let go at some point. Green, West, and Hansbrough cant ever play simultaneously, so drafting Green means one of those 2 guys is going to have to go. No way it is West, so Hansbrough would be the guy that would go I would think eventually.
Green I think is an eventually #10-12 guy on your roster.While high character guys are valuable for those roles, I think with pick #26we can do better.
Despite the fact that I personally would be unhappy with thepick, I believe that Draymond Green is very likely to be an Indiana Pacer on Thursday night if we stay at pick #26, IF WE CHOOSE TO GO WITH A FRONT COURTGUY.
Staying at #26, I think if we take a wing guy it will be either Orlando Johnson or Jeff Taylor. If we take a big, I am pretty certain it will be Draymond Green. I like Johnson and Taylor, but I dont like Green. We will see what happens.
Having said all of that, I am pretty certain draft nightwill be full of intrigue and movement, and I believe Indiana will be trying to move up into the early teens, perhaps as high as pick #10. Just a hunch.
Other teams that might show some interest in Draymond Greenwould be Washington at pick #32, Golden State at pick #30, Cleveland at picks #33 and #34, and maybe Miami at #27. At the end of the day I think it is likely that he ends up a Pacer at #26, but if he doesnt, I think he is destined for the nations capital in Washington DC at pick #32.
NBA comparable: Ryan Gomes, very poor man's Udonis Haslem
I can't really think of a past NBA comparable to him, maybe some of you can help with that.
As always, the above is just my opinion.