Published on May 22nd, 2012 | by Bryant West, Columnist0
2012 NBA Draft Prospect Stock Watch: Draymond Green
Name: Draymond Green
Hometown: Saginaw, MI
Physicals: 6′ 7″, 235 lbs, 22 years old
NBA Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
Current Stats: 16.2 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 3.0 TPG, 44.9% FG, 72.3% FT, 38.8% 3P
Draymond Green is, to me, the most underrated prospect of this year’s draft class. He comes with some well-discussed weaknesses, but with his intensity and incredibly length skill-set I believe he will have no trouble making a significant impact in the league.
Green, one of the rare seniors in the draft, has an incredible skill set. He’s got a improving low post game, a very nice jumpshot and decent enough range outside of the three point line. He’s an exceptionally strong rebounder, finishing 11th in rebounds per 40 minutes. No one shorter than him was higher on the list, and despite being two or three inches below an optimum height, he has size and strength and the knowledge of how to box out taller or more athletic players.
He’s a very smart player and a consummate team leader, as evident by his display in the NCAA Tournament this year as Michigan’s floor leader. He was the heart and soul of that squad, and carried them at times over the year. He produced a rare triple double in the first round of the tournament with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The next game, he had 16 points, 13 boards and six assists.
He needs to improve his back-to-the-basket game, which is fairly raw. Right now, his best weapon is his mid-range jumpshot, and he isn’t really quick enough to beat anyone off the dribble. But he has such an intensity to the game that you know if he really works on his post-game, he will be able to compensate for his lack of size, to a point at least.
Hit the jump for the rest of Bryant’s scouting report…
Of course, heart and leadership only gets you so far when NBA scouts are concerned. Here is a good breakdown of Green’s weaknesses by Kyle Nelson over at Draftexpress.com -
While Green is clearly very productive at the NCAA level, projecting him in the NBA isn’t a seamless endeavor, primarily due to his average physical tools and tweener status. Listed at a generous 6’7 and 230-pounds with long arms, Green is very undersized for the power forward position. He is not a particularly explosive athlete either, lacking ideal quickness and leaping ability, despite being highly coordinated and mobile. While he has made impressive strides slimming down his frame, further improving his body and maximizing his athleticism would help his case significantly.
There isn’t denying that his average athleticism will be a problem in the NBA. It is his single biggest weakness, and it’s one that should keep him from being able to guard faster, more athletic wings. The positionary concerns, however, are not ones I agree with. If you’re passing on a player with better talent for a guy who is a better fit at a position, then you better be a serious contender already.
Green will fare well whether he plays the three or the four. Defensively, he’ll be able to keep up with MOST small forwards, and he’s strong enough and tough enough that he’ll keep up with MOST power forwards. When you’ve got the heart that he has, you can’t let position dictate how well you think he’ll do.
To me, Green is the next DeJuan Blair—Blair, like Green, came into the league with athleticism and position question marks (although he also came with knee issues) that sunk him down far below were he should have been. Months later, he was one of the most consistent rookies, and years later, he’s a very key role player on the champion favorite Spurs. Green will have that impact, especially if he’s on a championship contender.
Draft Watch: I’d peg Green myself around the early 20 ranges, although he likely won’t go till the later 20s or early 2nd round. If he falls past 24 or so (Cleveland’s second pick, of which they should ABSOLUTELY consider Green with if they want to build their franchise out of tough players), he will most likely be gobbled up by happy contenders who know Green could be a final piece to the puzzle.
Miami seems an obvious choice, considering they lack depth and Green would help tremendously. When the Heat are playing Dexter Pittman in a Playoff game, something is wrong with their depth chart.
Chicago needs above-average depth at any position, and Green would help big time. Imagine him as a small, better scoring version of Taj Gray. Green wouldn’t be the answer to Chicago’s major problems (which consist of a secondary star next to Rose, and/or a more consistant big than Carlos Boozer) but he’d be a great addition at that slot.
If he slips into the second round, I’d hope that one of the early teams would snag him quick. Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland, New Orleans or Sacramento could all use some more depth at the 3/4 spots and would seriously benefit from Green’s leadership and intensity.
Conclusion: He will never be a superstar, by any means, but Green will be an exceptionally talented role player for years to come and will be a steal for whomever takes him in the late first/early second round.