One guy who has quietly climbed up draft boards recently has been the 6’6 SG/SF from Arizona- Josh Green. The former Australia native had a solid one-and-done year and seems to have penciled his name in to be a mid-to-late first-round pick.
Green has an NBA-ready body and style of play but carries some serious question marks along with this. Excelling due to his off-ball movement and catch-and-shoot tendencies, he projects as a 3-and-D wing which lines up with just what the Sixers are in search of.
At His Best
In the 30 games he was able to play this year, Green averaged 12 points per game along with 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He showed promise on the defensive end as well as he nabbed 1.5 steals per game and was often praised for his energy on this side of the ball. His footwork is impressive and this helps him on the defensive end a great deal.
The biggest word that surrounds Green is his versatility. While his style-of-play does not highlight it, he is a terrific athlete. His unique combination of strength and explosiveness should allow him to make an impact on the defensive end right away. Despite his 6’6 frame, Green has a wingspan over 6’10 which helps his ability to get in passing lanes and hold his own against bigger matchups.
Shooting needs to be Green’s calling card if he wants to be the productive bench player that many scouts project him to be. His Klay Thompson like stroke is comfortable and allowed him to score in the 85th percentile for catch-and-shoot jumpers in the half-court. Green also is effective at getting out on the fast break and frequently went coast-to-coast after securing a rebound.
At His Worst
Despite his reputation as a shooter, Green only shot 36.1% from beyond the three point arc on just 2.8 attempts per game. To put this into perspective, the average three point percentage in the NCAA last year was 37.7%. Green was also prone to hitting cold spells which greatly impacted his ability to influence the game. In one particular game against Arizona State this season, Green passed on an open three for an out of control drive attempt as time expired that resulted in Arizona losing by one to polish off Green’s 0-8 shooting performance.
Green has a decent pull-up jumper and ability to shoot off the dribble, but he is still fairly raw in his overall offensive game. His handle is average and he needs to grow as a passer as well. While there are no glaring holes in his game, there are also few areas that he separates himself from similar prospects. Green also had a tendency to be a little too passive in the Arizona offense than what was expected of him. While many NBA teams will look at this as a positive due to his projected role as a complimentary piece, it still is concerning that he did not jump off the screen compared to other players that were significantly less talented than Green.
Should the Sixers Target Green?
In a word, no.
Josh Green may turn out to be a solid role player in the NBA, but he is not the immediate impact guy that the Sixers should be in search of. He wouldn’t be a waste of a pick but there are better options that should be on the board at 21. Without a proper training camp and no Summer League, expectations for all rookies should be kept very low and this especially applies to Green. While his play-style may be considered “NBA ready” the sustenance of his game is not there yet.
Green is a solid basketball player, but the lack of identity in his game is concerning. The Sixers should prioritize looking for a guy especially good at something (like shooting!!) with hopes to develop other areas of his game rather than the unproven potential that Green shows. Josh Green does a ton of little things that go beyond the stat sheet but he has not earned the reputation as a shooter that he seems to be given.
This offseason will be a landmark one for the future of the Sixers. Depending on how new Sixers team president, Daryl Morey, looks at the state of the team and how close to championship competition they truly are will decide the direction of this offseason. With the clock beginning to tick on the primes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Josh Green is not the solution to becoming a “win-now” team in the way their focus should be oriented.
Mandatory Credit – Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire