With the NBA Draft date finally set, the prospects hoping to be picked are hopeful they will soon be able to suit back up soon. Most of these prospects haven’t played a game since early March once their season was cut short ahead of the NCAA Tournament because of Covid-19. Josh Green is one of those players who had his season end abruptly as a freshman at Arizona like many freshmen before him never got to showcase his game during the biggest time of the year. The good news for the freshman wing is that he had 30 games to prove why he should be a first-rounder, where he is often projected to be taken. The Josh Green Draft Profile will get into a couple of the freshman’s strengths and weaknesses and provide an NBA Comparison.
One of the strengths Green showed this year was his ability to defend wings even as a freshman. Sean Miller has had a plethora of wings show good defensive ability as a freshman to go along with solid defensive teams. Green seemed to be a fast learner and was able to show scouts that’s an ability that should transfer to the next level. He was known as an elite athlete coming out of high school and that’s always a big help in terms of the quickness to slide your feet and stay in front. The thing with a lot of freshmen that come into college with similar athleticism is they don’t care about that end of the court.
The young wing also benefits from a great wingspan that reaches 6’10” on his 6’6″ frame that allows him to get in passing lanes. He should be comfortable guarding both wing spots on the next level but would preferably guard more two guards even if the league is more and more positionless. There’s value in wings who can come in and contribute on the defensive end while also being able to show some ability on the offensive end.
Slashing Ability/Transition Offense
When it comes to evaluating Green’s offensive game it starts with his ability to get to the hoop. He’s excellent in transition where the previously mentioned athleticism shines. The young wing is quick and decisive when receiving the ball especially when he has a head full of steam. Throughout his 30 game freshman season, that was one of the offensive traits he was able to show consistency with by attacking in the open court. In some ways, it made up for his inconsistent shooting from two and three. Despite at times being a menace as a transition player he still only shot 44% from inside the arc last season.
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In addition to transition, he also displayed his ability to get to the rim in the halfcourt as well when the game was slowed down. After taking under 100 threes on the year most of his shots came in the paint with another chunk coming in the mid-range. Green was good about not taking shots that weren’t in his best interest. Similar to his game coming out of high school he stayed true to his game by going after shots closer to the rim. His quick first step allows him to get by defenders with ease but continuing to become a better finisher at the rim will be paramount. But as he reaches the next level adding a floater or mid-range jumper could be useful where that first-step won’t be nearly as pronounced as it was in college.
I’ve referenced it already in this Josh Green Draft Profile but shooting is the main weakness in his game right now. He shot 36% from three on only 83 attempts last year at Arizona and shot 44% from 2. Those numbers, mostly from inside the arc need to improve. Teams are salivating over the athleticism and defensive potential but they also question taking a player in the lottery whose game is fairly limited offensively. The good news was that he did show flashes that he could ultimately develop into a decent shooter if he continues to work and develop the skill.
He should take another step with the additional draft prep time with the date being moved from its usual June to November. If he can even just improve his mid-range shot to something he’s comfortable with it would go a long way.
NBA Comparison: Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson has a similar game to Josh Green, especially coming out of college. Neither are great shooters but have made respectable percentages while excelling on the defensive end. Neither guy is consistent from game to game with Richardson making bonehead mistakes with a shaky handle, something Green also needs to improve as his handle needs tightening. Richardson with his size has been able to guard one through three during his time in the league, a role Green should be tasked with handling when he’s on the court. Josh Green has a chance to become a much better player than Richardson as he continues to improve his shooting combined with better athleticism. If anything, Josh Richardson may be Green’s floor.