Draymond Green is a throwback in almost every sense of the word. The fact he stayed all four years at Michigan State is almost unheard of in this day and age. In his time there, he showed himself to be a capable player, playing a pivotal role in the Spartans’ run to the NCAA title game as a freshman in 2009, and earning Big Ten Player of the Year and first team All-America honors as a senior in 2012. Despite all these accolades, teams had concerns Green was a “tweener,” being that he not only lacked the size (6-7, 230) of a conventional power forward, but also the lateral quickness to guard small forwards. These concerns caused Green to slip into the second round, where the Warriors got themselves a steal with the 35th overall pick.
While he won’t wow you with speed or athleticism, whenever he’s on the floor, teammates and fans alike know they’re in good hands. He plays with an almost child-like enthusiasm, flashing a smile from ear to ear, and takes pride in doing the little things like taking charges, setting screens, and most importantly, proving he can guard all five positions. Green was an integral part of the second unit, and stepped his game up when it mattered most during the postseason. He doubled his regular season scoring output (2.9 to 5.8 PPG), and showed a willingness to take big shots. Green, who shot an abysmal .209 from three during the regular season, shot at a .391 clip in the playoffs, and showed more confidence in his offensive game.
Year two should provide Green with an expanded role on both sides of the floor, as he is now the unquestioned leader of the bench, with the departure of veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. The addition of Andre Iguodala also figures to take some pressure off Green as a defensive stopper. Green showed off a new svelte figure at the Vegas Summer League, and averaged 12.7 points and 7.4 boards en route to their championship victory. Expect big things from the man with the big smile.