From technical’s to triple-doubles, the Warriors’ Draymond Green has always been one of the more interesting players in today’s NBA. He brings the tenacity, grit, grind, and team oriented play of a hard-nosed 90’s forward. Combined with some serious skills of today’s new school “position-less” players, Green is the motor that drives the Golden State Warriors to the next level. But is Draymond truly a top-ten player in the NBA?
Many sites such as ESPN.com, SI.com, and SLAMonline released their annual NBA rank of the top players in the league. While SLAM has not completed their list, ESPN and SI have ranked Green in their top-ten list.
The former second round pick, plays with passion and excitement, but is he a by-product of Steve Kerr and GSW’s system? Green averaged near triple-double numbers last season for the star-studded Warriors, putting up 10.2ppg, 7.9rpg, and 7apg while being the defensive anchor. Draymond snagged 2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game ultimately leading him to the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Now, let’s look at some of the advanced numbers of Green, shall we?
Draymond is a stat-stuffer, he is also notorious for doing all the little things for the Warriors that does not show up in the box score, last season when Green was on the court for the Warriors he contributed to 8.2 win-shares (an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player). For a team that features Durant, Curry, and Klay Thompson, that is superb. Green also has an above-average Player Efficiency Rating (PER) at 16.5 (League average is 15.0) His defensive versatility is also noticed league wide, his ability to switch and guard any position or player on the court is amazing, Green’s quickness, length, and strength make him a nightmare for teams. Green was second in the NBA in deflections and was tied for first in defensive field goal percentage, within five feet of the basket (.439). Draymond’s defense stepped up even when Kevin Durant sat out for 19 games with a knee injury; during the 19 game span the Warriors led by Green held opponents to 97.0 points per 100 possessions. Which were 10 points fewer than the league average, the best in the NBA in that span.
With all the numbers and stats being said, Draymond Green is NOT a top ten player in today’s game and heres why…
Every championship team needs a player like Draymond Green. The 90’s Bulls had Dennis Rodman, the “Bad Boy” Pistons had Bill Laimbeer, and the Kobe-Gasol Lakers had Ron Artest. Draymond Green gives 110% effort every game and when in the trenches any organization, coach, player, and fan wants Green on their side. But playing on such a loaded team and playing alongside elite players makes Green’s job much easier. Yes Green creates for others, but with tons of attention going to Durant and Curry, it is easier to get Klay Thompson wide open, or finding a cutting Andre Iguodala. Draymond is an amazing “glue-guy” who can get everyone to buy into playing defense, but you cannot discredit the other great defenders on the Warriors. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Andre Iguodala are all great perimeter defenders, which once again makes Green’s job easier. Green is an All-Star caliber player, but is he more valuable than a player like John Wall who was left outside the top-ten? I get why Green would be considered to be a top-ten player, but with all due respect I see Green more in the top 12-15 rank.
Written by Daniel Malakismail