Mlive blogger: Could Draymond Green be destined for the NBA?

Posted: January 6, 2010 by Jared Field in College, Professional
Tags: , , ,

Is Draymond Green a future NBA player?

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.”

Benson: Yessir.

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

  1. Also worth noting, one of the commenters pointed out a good comparison: Chuck Hayes, the Houston Rockets’ undersized center. Hayes is obviously in better shape, but his key to success in the NBA has been an insanely good knowledge of how to position his body and play smart. Green seems to have these instincts — and he’s only a sophomore. Green also has more offensive game than Hayes ever did at the college level.

  2. Jared Field says:

    One, Hayes is a really bad NBA player despite the fact that he’s built like a brick house at 6-6.

    Find an overweight 6-5 power forward in the NBA to compare him to and then we’ll talk.

    • Jared, you’ve gotta get into the advanced stats my man. Hayes is a solid NBA player because he does two things: he rebounds and defends, and while the simple counting stats don’t necessarily show that, the rate statistics do. He’s starting and playing decent minutes on a Houston team that will be a middle-seed in the loaded Western Conference with no Yao and no McGrady. This is their starting five: Brooks, Battier, Ariza, Scola, Hayes, with Landry (another undersized four) as a super sub. He would be a rotation player on any winning team.

      • Jared Field says:

        Get back in the nerdery with your calculator Hayes!

        The bottom line is that the guy is a beast, thoroughbred type. Green is feast, wonderbread type.

  3. PJR says:

    Disagree that DeShawn Sims doesn’t have a chance at making pros. In fact of all the NBA prospects including Lucas/Harris/Summers/Green/etc., Sims is the top prospect. Sims’ problem is he is two players. The first is the guy who simply could care less that a game is going on, and useless. The second is a 6’8″ athletic/quick/strong monster of a PF that can and has just dominate on the best frontcourt talent in the country. The key is how to get that fire lit 24/7. Summers is the next best candidate, wtih the very same problem. Lucas and Harris are long shots for pros, because they are ppg fellas who shoot a lot and don’t play defense, one too short and one too unskilled. Harris actually has a better shot at pros than Lucas, and that’s as a potential PG not SG/SF, ala the Shannon Brown conversion from Wing to Point that pro scouts saw. Green’s a longshot because he’s a SF at best, too small for pro PF, and even if he solves the handles and perimeter shot problems, he lacks defensive quickness, and will struggle with weight problems as he ages.

    • Jared Field says:

      I can’t disagree with your assessment of Sims. That’s why I don’t think he has a chance. He’s listless half the time and that won’t fly in the NBA. He’d get torched.

      Harris would need a TON of work to be an NBA point guard. His assist/turnover ratio is not all that good, last I checked.

      Summers is an NBA thoroughbred type, that much is for sure. He just looks pretty average on some nights. I don’t think he’s near Shannon Brown’s level yet.

      As for Green, like Steve Bell says: You are what you can guard.

      • It Ain't Right says:

        I couldn’t agree more with Steve, but I never thought Green would play a role last season and would get red shirted… I’m never counting him out

  4. Jared Field says:

    Yeah. I thought he would get the redshirt last year as well. More power to him.

  5. KCC12 says:

    I know day day and hearin some negative stuff will just drive him to do better! He will make it to the NBA…he’s MSU’s best post presence as a sophmore! In another two years his body will be much more different and he will have a more well rounded inside/out game. Late first round draft pick

  6. Ya’ll sleep on Harris, but remember this one thing about the NBA that it is largely a one-on-one game. Many players that don’t look as good in college will play better in the pros. Vince Carter was thought to only be a superior athlete in college, but dominated almost immediately in the pros. Jason Richardson, Zach Randolph, Shannon Brown, Brandon Jennings, etc. all have similar stories. Even players like Bernard Robinson Jr. played for years when many thought they would never play. But the one I think has the easiest comparison to Manny is Jamal Crawford. Both are built very similarly as far as their bodies are concerned. Harris is a better overall athlete, while Crawford is clearly a better shooter. Both were thought to be volume scorers though in college. I don’t think that having the amount of years that Crawford has (about 10-11) would be a bad deal for Harris, right?

  7. Not yet….but Crawford wasn’t a shooter then either….nor were many others that went to the league and became shooters. Potential is the key for NBA GM’s often times, remember that key.

  8. SBell says:

    There will be so many 6-10 19-year-old Americans and Europeans who play the same position as Green who will be drafted on “upside”, don’t see it happening for him. He’d be a good NBA PF in the 1960s.

  9. Annette Marie says:

    Well, as for Jared, he was wrong about Draymond coming out of High school and during High school as well as
    S. Bell. When I saw what the both of you looked like, I realize why all the negativity. Just wait and see before you count someone out.

    • Jared Field says:

      Who counted anyone out?

      But I get your point. Since I’m 5’10” and 170 pounds I should keep my opinions to myself.

      I’m questioning his ability to play in the NBA. He is obviously a very good college player. The NBA is just a different game.

    • PJR says:

      Harris can make the NBA with work as a PG, never as a SG. Harris’ strengths are driving with length. Comparisons to Jamal Crawford are way off base because Harris’ shot is so wack and their games are so different. Harris’ path is actually close to Shannon Brown. Just like Brown, Harris shoulda been a PG in college ball. Blame coaching that don’t know squat about basketball player development and optimization, as in Izzo and Beilein, period. Harris gets the chancet o spend a year learning the PG position and he can make the NBA. Everyone roots for Green but Green’s gonna have to pull a miracle to make the NBA. He’d need a perfect fit team where roster wise on the floor he has help to make up for his deficiencies, too short for PF and too slow can’t shoot for SF. Just real hard to see!

  10. First off, the comparison to Crawford came from someone who played against Crawford many times in college where he WAS much the drive to the cup guy, not the shooter he is NOW. Please read the whole post before making frivilous assertions. The idea is simply that jump shots can be improved..period.

  11. […] 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. […]

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