Main Scouting Report
Josh Green, the Australian shooting guard out of the University of Arizona, is an interesting prospect that could be selected in a wide range of picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Green is an intriguing prospect because of his 6’6 height and long arms that give him tremendous defensive ability and potential as a wing player, as well as his developing offensive game. At Arizona, Green struggled early on but found himself as a shooter and as a slasher within their offense before the season was shut down.
Green has the potential to be the second shooting guard taken in the draft after Anthony Edwards if a team believes in his jump shot, or could slip towards the end of the first round if the questions about his offensive game are widespread throughout NBA front offices. Green is a smart player on the court, and I think teams will use his age and intelligence as driving factors to take a risk on the offensive project earlier in the draft.
Josh Green’s biggest strength as a player is his defensive ability and versatility. Green is 6’6 with a 6’10 wingspan and is lightning quick laterally, meaning he can be an elite wing defender, which is rare to find. He has a wide chest and strong shoulders, giving him the ability to guard bigger players and in the post while being lightweight enough to stay in front of point guards as well. His versatility on defense is a major plus and he can be used in every defensive scheme.
Another strength of Green’s is his overall athletic ability as a player. Green is very fast for his size, making him a threat as both an off-ball defender in passing lanes and as a slasher on offense. He can catch other players off-guard with his quickness and use his speed to close or create gaps in transition.
Green is also a very smart player who sticks to his role as well as any college freshman I have seen. Green always played within himself and never tried to force himself into the offense at Arizona, allowing Nico Mannion to run the offense. He made the necessary cuts and plays on offense while realizing his importance was on the defensive end. He showed his intelligence on defense by playing consistent, good help-side defense and understanding pick and roll situations for each guard he faced, a veteran move for only a 19-year-old.
Josh Green is only 19 and still has a long way to go as a basketball player before he reaches his final, complete form. There are lots of areas within his game where he needs to improve before he can become an everyday role player that is expected of him eventually. Green is a very incomplete offensive player. Green made timely cuts for easy baskets at Arizona but struggled to score outside of that.
He had an inconsistent jumper from all distances, especially from 3. Green shot 36% from deep, NBA average, but shied away from shooting 3s in general, only shooting 2.5 3s a game last year. On drives, Green relied on floaters and pull up jumpers despite having a size and athletic advantage over many of the other college players guarding him. He will need to be more aggressive near the rim and develop some strength in his finishing if he wants to round out his game at the next level. Also, Green’s handle on the ball was not as tight as you would hope and needs to improve as a dribbler in general.
I think there are two distinct paths that Josh Green’s career could take, depending on how he develops as an offensive player in the NBA. If Green can be confident in his jump shot and hit open jumpers at an average clip, he will have a long career as a role player because of his defensive ability. If that happens, he will be very similar to Mikal Bridges for the Suns and Jerami Grant for the Nuggets. Both are players who are relied on for their defense but are not detrimental to the team offensively.
If Green never develops into anything other than a mediocre offensive player, he will still be in the league awhile, but will not be the coveted player like he could easily be. His career will mimic other defensive specialists such as Andre Roberson or Kris Dunn, but nothing special.
Green has been all over the first round in mock drafts during the draft process. I am lower on Green than some of the other shooting guards in the draft because I am skeptical that he will continue to develop offensively. I think he will be drafted outside of the lottery, but will not drop below the Utah Jazz at pick 23. I think there is also a good chance he goes to the Blazers in the late teens as well.
I really like Josh Green’s potential if goes to the Portland Trail Blazers at the 16th pick in the first round. There, he will not be asked to do too much offensively and can develop alongside some of the best guards in the world in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Portland has a good track record at developing young talent as well, so Green should flourish there.
Conversely, there are lots of places in the teens that could be a trap for Green. He needs to be given time to become a producer on offense and will struggle on defense. If his role is too large too early, he could fizzle out. If he gets drafted to the 76ers or Jazz, I think he could struggle because they traditionally do not do well with nurturing and growing talent.
Basketball IQ: 9
Green is a very smart player who is proven to mold to any scheme and has tremendous court vision.
Green was a vocal defensive leader at Arizona.
Green is athletic with over a 40 inch vertical and 6’10 wingspan.
Green has the potential to be a devastating 2-way wing if he can develop on offense.
Green is an average shooter, but needs to be more confident in his shot and smoothen his motion slightly.
Green was a solid passer but cannot be a lead playmaker.
Green needs to improve his handle on drives to the rim.
Green is a good rebounder from the wing spot because of his length and jumping ability.
Green was a good defender because of his hustle and athleticism.
Green has the potential to be an All-NBA defender because of his size, intelligence, and athleticism.
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