Draymond Green Is Becoming One of the Greatest Second-Round Picks Ever
There have been many great second-round picks in modern NBA history, considering that the draft is only two rounds.
Dennis Rodman is talked about all the time as one of the best second-round selections in NBA history, and of course, Manu Ginobili is another guy often cited as a great second-rounder.
However, after his seventh triple-double of the season and third in a row against the Hornets on Monday, Draymond Green is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest NBA Draft bargains of all time.
While his triple-double streak ended last night against the Los Angeles Lakers (he did manage 9 points, 12 boards, and 5 assists in 27 minutes), with the way Green is playing this season, he may not even be close to his full potential or peak.
Another Career Year
Green is once again on pace to set career numbers in almost every category. Even though his Usage Rate has only gone up from 17.2 to 19.7 this season, Green is averaging 15 points per game compared to 11.7 last year, and he has a True Shooting Percentage of 56.8, another career best.
A big reason for this has been that Green is shooting fewer three-pointers, and getting to the basket more. His Three-Point Attempt Rate ate has gone down nearly 10 percentage points from his career high last season of 43 percent, and now this season, 43 percent of his shots are coming within three feet of the basket, compared to 33 percent last season.
He has also virtually cut out his midrange game from 10 to 23 feet, and the average distance of his field goal attempts has dropped from around 14 feet for his career to 10.7 feet this season. Green has also been rewarded for this by posting a career-best Free Throw Attempt Rate of .357.
Draymond’s LeBron-Like Dimes
Another big reason for Green’s spectacular season has been his assists, and his Assist Percentage, which is 29.7 this season. Not only is that on pace for a career best, but also the only other non-guard with a mark like that is LeBron James at 33.9.
In fact, if you compare the two players for this season, the two are very similar from an efficiency standpoint.
James has shot the ball 200 times more than Green already this season, but with how badly James is shooting the three-pointer this season, (27.3 percent) the two player’s True Shooting Percentages and Effective Field Goal Percentages are pretty much on par.
With Green getting to the line more and shooting threes at over 41 percent, he has a True Shooting Percentage of 56.8 compared to James’ 56.3, and Green’s Effective Field Goal Percentage is also more than a percent better than James so far this season at 53.3 percent.
All things considered, Green already has one NBA Championship. He is well on his way to competing for a second this season, and he was close to winning the Defensive Player of the Year award last season. He has to be considered one of the league’s greatest draft day steals in the making.
Even if his offensive numbers start to dip a little this season or in the near future, Green’s contributions on defense are well documented after last season’s run at the award, and he could be on his way to being one of the league’s greatest defenders according to the Defensive Win Shares metric.
Green is currently on pace to match his Defensive Win Shares mark of 5.2 from last season, which would put him at a total of 15.7 for his career.
According to Basketball Reference, there are five active players in the top 30 Defensive Win Shares rankings of all time, including James (30th), Tim Duncan Tim Duncan (2nd), Kevin Garnett (7th), Paul Pierce (23rd) and Dwight Howard (27th).
While he’ll likely never reach Duncan’s career total, even if Green only plays 10 more seasons and he averages 5 Defensive Win Shares per year, he would rank inside the top 20 all time in the metric.
For fans of teams who passed on Green back in the 2012 draft, it will always be interesting to think about what kind of numbers he could be putting up on a team where he doesn’t have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to share the ball with.
However, even if this Warriors’ core stays together for their careers and wins multiple championships together, Green is making his mark as a member of Golden State’s big three.