The Trail Blazers’ 2019-20 season is firmly in the rearview mirror and the 2020 NBA Draft is now on the horizon. As of now, the draft is scheduled for November 18. Unlike last year, the Blazers enter the process with two picks at their disposal. Portland currently owns the No. 16 pick in the first round and the No. 46 pick in the second round.
Today’s profile focuses on Arizona shooting guard Josh Green, a strong defensive athlete with questions surrounding his offensive versatility.
- Height: 6’6”
- Weight: 206
- Wingspan: 6’10”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: SG
- Age: 19
- Projected draft range: 16-21
- PTS: 12.0 | Per 40: 15.5
- REB: 4.6 | Per 40: 5.9
- AST: 2.6 | Per 40: 3.4
- STL: 1.5 | Per 40: 2.0
- FG%: 42.4
- 3P%: 36.1
- FT%: 78.0
When Green receives the ball on the perimeter, he’s a quick decision maker; he wastes no time firing up a shot, making a swing pass to an open teammate, or attacking a closeout. In the first of those scenarios, Green displayed solid catch-and-shoot skills despite only taking 2.8 three-pointers per game. When that option wasn’t available, he quickly read the floor and found an open teammate to exploit a scrambling defense.
On defense, Green’s contributions are more visible. He has quick feet and reflexes, making him an effective perimeter defender. His speed and strength allow him to guard positions 1-3. Off the ball, Green executes smart rotations and has active hands.
When Green can’t make a quick decision and has to put the ball on the floor, he gets into trouble. He’s a loose dribbler and tends to drive in a straight line, making him predictable for defenses. If they collapse on a drive, he doesn’t have the playmaking skills to find his open teammate and attempts poor bailout shots, hindering his efficiency around the rim. Defensively, Green sometimes falls asleep off the ball and lets his man get open for an easy bucket.
Arizona went 21-9 and finished sixth in the Pac-12 in Green’s freshman season. Despite being a top prospect out of high school, Green assumed a complementary role alongside two other teammates who declared for the draft. He had a rough midseason stretch, averaging 7.7 points on 31% shooting and collecting 2.2 turnovers per contest over the course of six games. He did end the shortened season on a high note, tallying 19 points and two steals in a conference tournament victory over Washington.
Green’s defense can benefit any team. He sticks with guards and smaller wings on the perimeter and in isolation thanks to his athleticism, plus he makes the right plays off the ball to impede passing or driving lanes. But to earn a rotation spot in the NBA, he’ll need to improve his offensive versatility as well as his stationary three-point shooting. His passes need to anticipate where the defense will go rather than react to their movement. Additionally, he made a humdrum 36.1% of his triples, and with an increase in attempts, that percentage might dip further.
Green plays within his role on offense, an important attribute for players pairing with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. To effectively complement them, though, he needs to become a reliable three-point shooter and earn the defense’s attention. Conversely, his fit is much better on defense. The Blazers try to hide Lillard and/or McCollum on weaker offensive options, and Green has the athleticism and ability to defend premiere ball handlers.
Although a strong defensive player, Green doesn’t have one elite skill like other wings in the late-lottery ranger. He needs well-rounded development to contribute at the next level; simultaneously, his ceiling isn’t as high as some other prospects, making him a tough short term or long term bet.
One extra note: Green has had surgery on both his shoulders in the last two years. Injury concerns should always worry Blazers fans.