We’ve been down this road just recently with a few in-state players — UM’s Deshawn Sims and Manny Harris come to mind, along with Oakland’s Keith Benson. It’s the big question on everyone’s mind: Are they good enough for the NBA.
In Harris’ case the answer is a hearty “not yet,” while in Sims’ case it’s a definitive “not a chance in heaven or hell.”
But what about MSU’s Draymond Green? The undersized power forward from Saginaw High has been among Michigan State’s best and most consistent performers this season — not to mention easily the Spartans’ top post threat.
In a recent blog about Green’s NBA chances, Mlive’s Patrick Hayes (a friend and NBA sage) puts forth his opinion that if Jason Maxiell can do it, why not Green?
From It’s Just Sports:
Now, it’s obvious Green would have to get in better shape to be a NBA player. But there is a history of undersized role players (Corliss Williamson, Clarence Weatherspoon and Paul Milsap, to name a few recent ones — all in better shape than Green, but he still has some time to work on that) having decent careers in the NBA, and I’d argue that Green has a chance to fill a similar role for a good team.
I also believe that Green has skills he has not yet shown at MSU — namely, while he’s not going to blow by people off the dribble, he does have a face-up game. He also has decent range, but we haven’t seen it much since he’s so adept at using his body to get good post position.
At his size, in my humble opinion, Green would have to lose the baby fat and really show off some elite-level athleticism to be considered a legitimate NBA prospect. I mean, the Maxiell comparision is somewhat apt except for the fact that he’s a bit of a freak, athleticially and physically.
I’m just not convinced that Green’s game would translate to the NBA anytime soon. Power forwards at that level just don’t look like him.
One other consideration is coaching. Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in the country, but he isn’t known as a great next-level coach.
What say you?
– Jared Field