With the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected Draymond Green, a 6-foot-7 230-pound small forward from Michigan State University. In his senior season, Green averaged 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game and won numerous awards including Big Ten Player of the Year, National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year and was a consensus First Team All-American.
Most players with those accolades are usually drafted much higher than the second round, but Green slipped all the way to Golden State at No. 35. The biggest concern about Green coming out of college was that he was a power forward in a small forward’s body. He would be too small to cover NBA power forwards in the post but also too slow to defend NBA small forwards on the perimeter. He also has issues taking people off the dribble and has very little back to the basket game.
The positives of his game are that he is a great passer and doesn’t turn the ball over very often. He is an above average shooter for a power forward and an excellent rebounder. He will do the majority of his damage on the offensive glass and in pick and pops.
In his rookie year, he played in 79 games averaging a little more than 13 minutes with 2.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game mostly coming off the bench. In the postseason, with an injury to David Lee, his role expanded a little more. He averaged almost 19 minutes per game with 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.
In his second year, I look for him to play an expanded role but not start. The Warriors lost Carl Landry and Jarret Jack in the offseason but were able to get Andre Iguodala. The way their roster is set up it looks as though they will be playing a lot of small ball with Harrison Barnes coming off the bench and playing power forward sometimes. Green is probably looking at 15-20 minutes per game and will be used to bring energy and crash the boards. If he keeps expanding his game, he may turn into a Boris Diaw type of player, but if he doesn’t improve his ball handling he will compare more with DeJuan Blair.