After playing four years at Michigan State, Draymond Green was not thought of as a major NBA prospect. Luckily for the Golden State Warriors, they decided to take a chance on the undersized power forward and it has paid off. Green has broken out in his 3rd season and become a vital piece on a championship contending team.
Today, let's take a look at Green's growth in both college and the NBA.
After a stellar career at Saginaw High School, Green stayed in-state to play college basketball for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Green had a quiet freshman season before breaking out in the 2009 NCAA Tournament where he averaged 8.5 points and ranked second on the Spartans with 5.3 rebounds before falling to North Carolina in the title game.
During his sophomore season, Green took home the Big Ten's 6th man of the year award and was named 3rd team all conference. He averaged 9.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game, showing the versatility that has helped him in the NBA. The Spartans season, however, ended in disappointment again with a loss in the 2010 Final Four to Butler.
In his junior season, Green once again earned a 3rd team all Big Ten selection averaging 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds. Despite losing in the first round of the 2011 NCAA tournament to UCLA, Green became just the 7th player in the history of the tournament to record a triple double.
In his senior season, Green averaged 16.2 points and 10.6 rebounds. He won the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and was a unanimous Big Ten 1st team selection. His college career ended with a loss to Louisville in the Sweet 16, but not before Green surpassed Greg Kelser as the leading rebounder in Michigan State history.
Draymond Green's College Stats:
NBA Career Update
Following his senior season at Michigan State, Green was drafted 35th by the Golden State Warriors in the 2012 NBA Draft and is currently in his 3rd season with the organization. While the Warriors made the postseason in each of his first two seasons, Green struggled to find a consistent role on the team. His role did increase late in his rookie season, but he only started 12 games in his second season. He received 8.5 more minutes per game in his second season thanks to his improvement shooting the ball.
However, in his 3rd season, Green took advantage of the break he needed. David Lee getting hurt ended up changing the outlook of Green's career and the Warriors' team. After being inserted in to the starting lineup at the start of the 2014-2015 season, Green has started all 79 games he played in this season. Green has had by far his best season averaging 11.7 points and 8.2 rebounds and has shown the ability to stretch the floor with improved 3 point shooting and is a force on defense with the ability to guard all 5 positions.
Draymond Green's NBA Stats:
With the Warriors currently in the middle of a deep playoff run, Green is receiving increased publicity and has become possibly the 3rd best player from the 2012 draft behind Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard - although Andre Drummond and Bradley Beal might have something to say about this.
Green's breakout season in 2014-2015 came at a perfect time, as the Michigan State product will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Green will receive many big offers from numerous teams, including a possible max deal. Max deals will be offered more frequently this offseason with the announcement of an increasing salary cap over the next few years.
Although it might take a lot of money, the Warriors will probably match any offer thrown at Draymond even if it means moving a player like Andre Igoudala. Green has shown the ability to adjust to each level he has played at after starting off slow in his first year. He has adjusted his game to help his team win and has found a way to make a huge impact in areas that don't even show up in the stat sheet.
Green's future looks bright no matter where he ends up. His increased offensive efficiency and consistent versatile defense will keep him in the NBA for a long time.