Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Draymond Green

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  • Measurables: 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, senior forward from Michigan State
  • Key Stats: 16.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 steals per game, 45 percent shooting, 41 percent 3-point shooting
  • Projected: Late first round to undrafted
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I like love this guy

When Draymond Green was a sophomore at MSU, making a big statistical leap from his freshman season, I wrote this lengthy post. The premise was basically, if he keeps making jumps like this, he’ll get NBA consideration. It was roundly laughed at — a friend who covers HS basketball in Michigan even mentioned it to Green’s high school coach, Lou Dawkins, who, although he obviously loves Green as a player, was skeptical he could make it to the NBA.

Last year, after the Pistons drafted Kyle Singler early in the second round, I wrote this post saying basically that if Singler could be considered a NBA prospect, Green is certainly one — he’s a better rebounder, passer and shooter than Singler, after all. It was taken a bit more seriously than the first post, but most still considered Green a longshot, at best, to ever get drafted.

Then his senior year came around. Green will likely win the Big 10 Player of the Year award, he should be on the All-America First Team and he really should get consideration for National Player of the Year. Scouts have begun to take notice as well. He’s now, dare I say, a likely second round pick and at one point, even had him slotted in the late first round.

I’ve watched Green since he was in high school at Saginaw High. He’s one my favorite college players of all-time. Even Dan Feldman, a Michigan man through and through, will privately admit to loving Green’s game. It’s impossible not to. And when you combine it with his personality and work ethic, he would be a great addition to any team. He’s worked hard at MSU to lose weight, he’s made himself into a better perimeter player and he’s one of the smartest college players in the country. What’s not to love?

Pros for the Pistons

With still no guarantee that Singler is interested in playing the NBA next season and with no guarantee that Austin Daye ever develops into a rotation player, the Pistons could still use some depth at small forward.

Green is actually an intriguing fit because he’s a fantastic all-around passer. He’s always been a good high post passer at Michigan State, but he’s also been great this year as an entry passer into the post as Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne have become viable interior options. Those skills would be really interesting on the Pistons.

The Pistons have struggled at times to get Greg Monroe touches in the paint because they have perimeter players who don’t always make good entry passes. Green helps this problem.

The Pistons have guards in Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight who are fast, who are good cutters and who aren’t afraid to attack the basket. Other than Monroe, the Pistons don’t have players who consistently are willing to make precision, risky passers cutters. Green helps this problem.

Stuckey and Knight also love to push the ball on missed shots. Green is a good rebounder and a great outlet passer. He could help the Pistons get more transition opportunities.

Also, because his 3-point shot has developed so much this season, he’s a legitimate floor-stretching option. The Pistons need more players who can knock down perimeter jumpers consistently.

Green also possesses the intangible qualities — basketball IQ, leadership, toughness — that supposedly led to Joe Dumars re-signing Tayshaun Prince for four years (and they’re also the qualities that apparently every draft pick in Dumars’ history as an executive has possessed). If Green could develop, he allows the Pistons to stop relying on Prince so much as their only security blanket-type intangibles player.

Cons for the Pistons

Green has the same question marks he’s always had. He lacks athleticism and plays below the rim mostly. In college, he plays all over the court, alternating between the post and the perimeter. He has effective post moves and a back to the basket game, but in the NBA, even at small forward, he’ll often play against players that are taller than he is, so he could struggle to get his shots off.

What position he defends is also an issue. He’s improved defensively in college and works hard at it, but he doesn’t have the size to defend most NBA fours and he might not have the quickness to defend most perimeter players. No one should expect him to morph into a defensive stopper, but if he’s able to show as the college season concludes and in pre-draft workouts that he can hang with elite wings on defense in one-on-one situations, it will help his stock tremendously.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

Stat heads have loved Green all season. Scouts are starting to come around, too. Green got off to a bit of a shaky start at the beginning of the season, but he’s been the primary catalyst behind the Spartans’ huge surge in the second half. He’s posting career highs of 15.4 ppg and 10.4 rpg and is shooting nearly 39 percent from 3. He doesn’t look much like an NBA prospect, but he has the right mentality to be a Nick Collison/Jared Dudley-esque role player on a very good team for a long, long time.


Still, he continues to rebound the ball at an excellent rate, even against top competition as evidenced by his 18-rebound effort against North Carolina’s NBA-caliber frontcourt. His 12.1 rebounds per-40 are a career-high, and at just 6’7, he is grabbing 25% of his team’s total defensive rebounds. His soft hands and nose for the ball help him here, but his aggressiveness, in particular is on full display on the glass.

Spreading the floor, making the extra pass, hitting the boards and keeping the offense in rhythm will be his primary responsibilities as an NBA player. Which is similar to what they are now.

NBA Draft Blog:

Green has been a workhorse under Izzo, doing anything the team needed from him to win. Green has developed into a decent perimeter shooter as well as high post passer.

The Hoops Report:

The heart of the team is Draymond Green, a 6-foot-7 senior forward who does it all for the Spartans. Draymond, or “Day-Day” as he is called by Spartans fans, can use his strength to rebound and score down low, shoot from the perimeter, and handle the ball. He is tough to defend because of his versatility.

What is the best thing Draymond Green does for his team?

Jim Cavan (follow him on Twitter) writes for ESPN TrueHoop Network blog KnickerBlogger. He’s also a Michigan State fan. I asked him the above question:

“At the college level, the answer is anything and everything. As for how Green’s uniquely refined skill set translates to the pros? Generally speaking, elite-level rebounders tend to translate well at the next level, and Day-Day’s prowess on the glass is nothing if not that — even more so considering he plays in a conference with a slower pace, and thus fewer shot attempts. But it’s the well-rounded nature of Green’s game — at both ends of the floor — that makes a Knick fan like myself drool at the prospect of what he could achieve in a Mike D’Antoni system, where there’s always room for Swiss Army Knife types.”


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Tags: Brandon Knight Greg Monroe Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince

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