Draymond Green’s consistent growth in the NBA has been something to watch. Nobody saw it coming out of the 35th pick in the 2012 draft, except for Green himself. Green’s morphed from a player supposedly lacking a position to a positionless, game-changing player.
In an interview with Alex Kennedy, Green spoke on these topics and many more, which got me thinking: just how good can Draymond become? At just 25, there seems to be a bit of growth still to be done, and Green is putting in the requisite effort to succeed:
“I definitely want to improve my jump shot; it obviously got better last year, but I want it to continue to get better. Also, I’m really trying to improve my post game. Teams like to switch on me every now and then and I think in the playoffs I did a great job of taking advantage of drives, but I want to score on the bigs in the post as well.”
On the biggest stage, that versatility was most evident. Green’s ability to pass like a point forward and guard any position transcended the way we look at modern day talents. Offensively, Green’s shot has been the biggest flaw in his game – but a skill that’s also the easiest to improve in time.
Defensively, Green has the smarts and a unique blend of size, strength and quickness to defend all five positions in a pinch – whether that be in a pick and roll or down on the low block. Green’s ability to switch onto anybody made Golden State’s defense unflappable last year. He was the lynch-pin, which made many upset when Green placed second to Kawhi Leonard in Defensive Player of the Year voting despite earning the most first-place votes. That award remains a goal in Green’s future:
“It’s definitely something that I want to accomplish. But obviously it [comes down to] someone else’s opinion so it’s not something that you can control. But yes, it’s definitely a goal of mine.”
Green should be able to maintain his defensive acumen, which makes his contract worth it in itself. If Draymond can continue to take a step offensively, there’s no reason to believe he can’t reach All-Star status as soon as next year. With that growth, it would only help a Warriors team who was already the best in the league last year – a very scary thought.
“I think we could get a lot better. At the end of the day, what Coach Kerr always preaches on the offensive end is flow. And I think that flow gets better with time because you understand, ‘I’m going to get my shot here,’ and, ‘If I move the ball, it’s going to come back to me,’ and all of that stuff. You understand all of that better in year two.”
The Golden State Warriors will be very good for a very long time – Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green form a young nucleus still heading towards their respective potentials. Big man Festus Ezili is still young and showing improvement. MVP point guard Stephen Curry will continue to play at a high level for another few years. The Warriors are loaded with veterans that now have valuable championship experience which should pay dividends down the line. The future looks bright, and that isn’t even considering the Warriors selected quite possibly the steal of the draft in 2015 30th pick power forward Kevon Looney.
The Warriors should be at the top of the Western Conference hierarchy for years to come with the amount of depth, talent and experience under contract. With forward Draymond Green the Warriors have a toughness that had been much needed in years prior to his arrival, with an improved offensive game to match his defensive aptitude – the future is bright for Green and the Warriors.