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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Josh Green could be the defensive wing the Mavericks are looking for

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The Mavericks are in need of wings to fill out the rotation, and Green could be that player.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Arizona Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats wing Josh Green, an athletic multi-use player from Australia who turns 20-years-old just two days before the draft, has the sort of physical traits that all NBA teams need right now. Though he is young, he could be the perfect mid-first round pickup for the Dallas Mavericks.

The Specs

Height: 6’6

Weight: 210 pounds

Wingspan: 6’10.25”

Standing Reach: 8’7.5”

Key Notes

Offense

  • Quality catch-and-shoot ability, especially below the break and from the corners. Moves well along the perimeter to find the open space for a kick-out pass.
  • The mechanics of his release need some improving, though the motion is consistent.
  • Perhaps the biggest plus to his offense is his obvious ready-made role in the system.
  • Very loose handles, both in the open floor and in traffic.
  • He has the frame and length, but doesn’t play big enough around the rim and it resulted in poor finishing.

Defense

  • High end defender, with an ability to guard all perimeter positions and maybe smaller power forwards.
  • Active and engaged off-ball team defender.
  • Has the IQ and athleticism to work in isolation and recover when he’s beat.
  • Needs work defending around screens.
  • Can sometimes overplay passing lanes.

Active Player Comparisons

If everything goes wrong: Stanley Johnson

If everything goes right: Danny Green

Most Realistic Outcome: Iman Shumpert, Danuel House

Stats and Accomplishments

Best Games Last Season

Nov. 19, 2019 vs Pepperdine: 24 points, eight rebounds. five assists, three steals (4-of-5 from three)

Feb. 20 vs Oregon State: 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, four steals (2-of-3 from three)

3 Key Things

Defense

Without a doubt Green’s way to earn playing time his rookie season will be his defense. He is a versatile defender, able to guard all three perimeter positions and likely small power forwards. He utilizes both active hands and quick feet, and is able to turn his hips quickly which can at times make him look a little too reactive. But he is highly adaptable in isolation and athletic enough to recover when he’s beat.

As a help defender he’s attentive and assertive. At times he can be a little too ball focused, requiring extra effort to track his man. But his timing and athleticism make him skilled in passing lanes, forcing deflections and turnovers.

His greatest area of focus has to be his work in the pick-and-roll, where he isn’t consistent enough fighting through screens and taking poor angles. But his instincts and lateral quickness should help him after more experience under his belt.

Three-point shot

A foundation is here for Green to be a successful “Three & D” player in the NBA, but how his outside shot translates to the league isn’t necessarily a given. He shot 36 percent on 83 attempts in the shortened college season, not eye popping numbers.

The mechanics of his shot are consistent but needs refinement. His legs angle in during his prep, and the release is methodical. These factors combined could relegate him to only taking wide open corner threes in the league. Not the end of the world, but you’d hope for more versatility in how he gets his shot off.

Defined role

One reason to snag a player like Green in the mid-first round is because there are no questions about his role. Half the battle in the draft is defining where a rookie slots in to the rotation, both present and future. But not with Green.

There are question marks for sure: Can his shot translate and improve? Can he improve his finishing around the rim? Will he take too many risks on defense?

But some of those questions ultimately are secondary to what he could be day one. He will guard scorers along the perimeter, using his energy to disrupt opponent’s rhythm. He fills his lane well in transition is always ready to attack off the outlet pass. He shows high IQ in finding passing lanes after the penetrating kick-out. And shows potential in straight line drives after overzealous closeouts.

The Checklist

Role with the Mavericks

The health of the Mavericks left a major question mark on their playoff run, but one thing is overwhelmingly obvious: they need wings. The backcourt rotation surrounding Luka DoncicTim Hardaway Jr. (pending player option), Seth Curry and a healthy Jalen Brunson — is solid as long as they replicate their production.

This isn’t the same for their wing depth: Dorian Finney-Smith is backed up by Justin Jackson and Delon Wright has found himself in bench purgatory after a disappointing season.

This is where a player like Green slots in seamlessly. Though he lacks much offensive versatility, he could easily slot into a spacing role awaiting Doncic corner passes. He can play both wing positions, and would be a nice defensive presence to relieve Doncic, and pair with Finney-Smith. With the health of Kristaps Porzingis in question, and Dwight Powell’s return pending, it’s easy to see Finney-Smith and Green share the floor together for a switchable athletic defensive duo.

Summary

Josh Green is a mid-first round talent because of his NBA-ready frame and defensive skillset. The potential of his shot improving would make him a fringe lottery talent. But alas, the outside shot is a question mark.

This would be a good pick-up for the Mavericks, dependent on who is left on the board at 18. Green may not have the highest of ceilings, but he’s a rotation player with fringe starting ability. If the Mavericks actually use this pick (up in the air), I think they look for someone that can contribute to a team need day one. Though he may not be at the top, I believe Josh Green is on that list.