As college football season is high gear. we’re continuing our look at potential wing players the Spurs could eye in the the NBA draft this summer. Yesterday we looked at Michigan State’s Aaron Henry. Today:
Josh Green: Wing, Arizona
2019-20 Stats (per game)
Shooting splits (FG/3PT/FT): 44/33/79
Another solid 3 and D option for San Antonio, Josh Green makes up one-third of Arizona’s exciting freshman class. A high flying Australian who spent his senior year winning a national championship for IMG Academy, Green has been excellent defensively and has shown an intriguing offensive repertoire that should only get better.
Green’s allure offensively doesn’t really lie in one thing, rather a bevy of skills that is a catalyst for winning basketball. Obviously, being labeled as a 3 and D wing and only shooting 33% from deep raises some questions. However, Green has solid touch, evidenced in part by 79% free throw shooting. Green has also continued to improve his jump shot, and projects to eventually be a threat from outside. Compare the two clips, one from his senior year of high school (at about 7 seconds) and one from this season, where his elbow is much closer to being directly underneath the basketball. That’s the improvement made in less than one year. Imagine the strides he could make under Chip Engelland.
Josh Green C&S corner three. Could tell that one was going in b/c he had his feet set. pic.twitter.com/FMzeIUUBH2— Trevor William Marks (@twmarks_) January 10, 2020
Right now, most of his scoring value is derived from attacking closeouts, transition buckets, and as a very good off ball play maker. Green is one of the more athletic players in this class, and when he gets out into the open floor, it is often a scary sight for opposing defenses. In the half court, he understands whether how defenders are closing out, and usually makes the correct decision, usually either driving to the hoop or shooting. Green is especially effective when he is able to blow by his man due to his explosiveness and finish at the rim.
Josh Green with a good display of handle, body control and touch pic.twitter.com/ObuW5KJ9DG— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 10, 2020
While Green will never likely be a primary initiator, you can trust him to make the right plays within the offense, plus even a little bit more. He has legit upside as a play maker, even though his numbers of 2.3 assists per game (13% assist rate) and 1.5 turnovers per game (11.1% turnover rate) many not seem like it. There’s not a whole lot of players, much less off ball wings, who can make these passes.
Sweet assist from Josh Green pic.twitter.com/nqQhovShpZ— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 10, 2020
Pretty awesome pass from Josh Green pic.twitter.com/2vWEdPGwIU— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 10, 2020
On the defensive side of the ball, Green projects very well. His 6-foot-6 frame and 6-foot-10 wingspan makes him an ideal size for the modern NBA wing, and his weight/strength is not too far off from being able to theoretically guard bigger forwards. Green’s motor and effort is consistently high on the defensive end, and when combined with his physical tools and mobility, it really minimizes the amount of mistakes he can make defensively. It may not show statistically, but he knows where he needs to be at almost any point.
Josh Green's legit got the tools to be a lock-down defender. pic.twitter.com/KuPWqwk4t4— Derek Murray (@dmurrayNBA) January 2, 2020
Additionally, he uses his long strides, mobility, and leaping ability to rotate over, sometimes almost out of nowhere, and create a turnover. This isn’t just a one time occurrence, Green has done this multiple times this season. If someone makes a lazy pass, he makes sure you will pay.
Josh Green steal and finish for the lead pic.twitter.com/K7JaURRXjO— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 10, 2020
Green currently has a strong baseline of skills that should already provide him a role in the NBA. The only question is how big that role will be, which is based on how much he can improve his shooting. Along with Johnson and Walker to an extent, Green could be part of San Antonio’s new contingent of wings that should be able to provide 48 combined minutes of two way productivity.