The Denver Nuggets drafted a special player in guard Erick Green with the No. 46 overall pick.
This kid gets buckets. In his senior year as at Virginia Tech, Green led the NCAA in scoring by averaging 25 PPG. The reigning ACC Player of the Year is deadly accurate with his jump shot off the dribble. Green, 6-foot-3, has a quick, high release that allows him to elevate over larger defenders. The guard has the ability to create his own shots with his quickness and range of separation moves. He’s terrific in spot-up and off-screen situations. The former Hokie has NBA range. In 2012-13, he shot a career high from the field (.475%, .389% from three PT). As a passer, Green thrives in the transition and pick and roll offense. Green’s great ball handling skills only gave up two turnovers per game in his senior season.
The biggest weakness I see with Green is his size. At only 178 pounds, he will have a tough time driving into the paint and guarding larger guards in the lane. Green doesn’t have explosiveness while slashing to the rim, or a strong ability to finish through contact. According to Draftexpress.com, Green only shot 48% around the rim in 2012-13. Due to his lack of height, he will likely need to play point even though his arsenal of offensive moves favors a position at the two spot. The Nuggets were the highest scoring team in the 2012-13 season averaging 106 PPG. Of those 106, around 57 points came in the paint.
While the Nuggets did sit at the top of the NBA scoring list, they still struggled adding points from mid-range and beyond the arc. At the end of the season they finished tied for 25th with the Toronto Raptors in three PT% (.343). Expect Green to continue developing into a shooting PG. Green will definitely have a reserve role early on in the season behind Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.
Green is exactly the type of player the Nuggets needed to draft. The team addressed an issue that plagued them in 2012-13 by selecting a stud shooter. Now, they need to develop him. Green has a ton of potential to become an elite sixth man for with his shooting abilities. His top priority right now needs to be improving his strength.
Green is expected to participate in the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas July 12-22. Each of the 22 participating teams will play three games before a single-elimination tournament. The Nuggets face the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards in preliminary play.
In his first post-draft interview as vice president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, expressed his excitement in drafting Green.
“He’s a natural scorer. He brings a dynamic attribute in the backcourt that is rare to see. His scoring is what stands out, and we need to embrace that part of his game.”
Draft grade: B+
Jordan Morey is a Denver Nuggets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jordanamorey, “Like” him on