In advance of the 2020 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops is evaluating prospects with a look at what the Atlanta Hawks might be considering from now until the selection process occurs. Dozens of prospects will be profiled in this space and, in this edition, we glance at Arizona wing Josh Green.
One of the prospects I’m highest on relative to mainstream consensus is Josh Green of Arizona. In the postseason, wings who can defend have enhanced value, especially if they can defend multiple positions, making prospects who can step into such a role as smart investments in the draft.
Standing about 6’6 in shoes with just under a 6’10 wingspan, Green has favorable measurements for an NBA wing. A good athlete with impressive strength, Green is one of the best perimeter defenders in the class. While Auburn’s Isaac Okoro is rightfully billed as the premier on-ball defender in the draft, Green is not far behind him, making him an enticing value outside of the lottery.
With his combination of strength, agility, and anticipation, Green projects favorably as a versatile defensive wing, having the fluidity to stick with guards and the strength to hold up against most small forwards. Wings who have the potential to defend 1-3 almost always have rotation value, and Green is also a keen ball mover.
While he will not blow you away with his playmaking, he makes the right reads most of the time and does a good job of taking care of the ball.
Josh Green isn't an advanced passer, but is good at making simple, effective reads to put teammates in good position to score, without turning it over too much. Not incisive, but adept at moving the ball to the right locations. Easy to see how he fits in an NBA offense. pic.twitter.com/ZngPlMowFk— AKelly (@andlankell) March 25, 2020
Zooming out, Green’s profile as a smart wing defender with good hands and intelligent ball movement makes for a valuable skill set, if not a flashy one. Using parameters of a 15 percent assist rate and 2.5 percent steal rate among freshmen wings who went on to be drafted, Green finds his name on a short list of players, most of whom are at least useful role players and one became a star.
Josh Green is a prospect I'm higher than consensus on. Here are some wings with at least 15% AST% & 2.5% STL% as freshmen & later drafted - basically young wings who have OK passing IQ & active hands.— AKelly (@andlankell) August 25, 2020
One star & some interesting roleplayers. Green is a nice value post-lotto. pic.twitter.com/Qr3epO2GZY
As such, Green represents a nice value position. Unlikely to be a star, Green still brings a useful package to the table that NBA teams are always looking for, meaning that he is likely to retain value if he shows positive play.
- Green shot 36 percent on 83 tries from distance as well as 78 percent from the line. Not bad numbers. However, Green’s shooting mechanics reveal reasons for concern, having a form that is not always consistent. While I generally favor results over form, there is enough here to have doubt about Green’s shooting projection. At any rate, he is not likely to be a real weapon from deep.
- Not a good finisher in half court, Green’s reliance on his right hand will limit his effectiveness when tries to create for himself. While players will surprise you with development in unexpected ways, it is hard to see half court finishing becoming a real strength for him. He probably will not add much value as a scorer in general.
- Broadly speaking, Green is someone who blends in on offense, in a way that I see as mostly fine. He will score in transition and off cuts, knock down catch-and-shoot looks, and keep the ball moving on low usage; he will try and play to his strengths. While that means he can also disappear for stretches, limiting his ceiling, he will not kill you with mistakes and plays smart enough on offense to not erase his defensive impact.
- Really good hands, posting a little under 50 steals for Arizona. He moves his feet well and has potential to be effective at the point of attack. While not possessing the bulk of an Isaac Okoro, and thus less likely to hold up against bigger forwards and big men, he should be a useful, switchable defender.
- While a solid team defender, most of his value defensively likely comes on-ball, which is generally less impactful on wider defensive success than NBA. However, his anticipation and good instincts give him a base to expand as he becomes more experienced. Green strikes me as a hard worker and someone coaches will be able to mold.
Fit with the Hawks
While Green fits on essentially any team, it would likely take Atlanta trading down in order to select him. Although he is unlikely to be a gaudy scorer, Green could bring real value to the Hawks via his versatile defense. Should the Hawks decide to move out of the lottery on draft night, Green would be on my radar, since they have a great need for impact defense, and you can never have too many wings.