6. F Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
How many guys can legitimately guard five positions? Draymond Green, that’s who. In this regard, Green is up there in discussion with the likes of LeBron James and Kawahi Leonard — that’s rarefied aired to occupy.
Green played power forward at Michigan State for Tom Izzo, but was always undersized. Yet, analytics-minded teams were bound to love him, which is part of the irony in the Warriors drafting him given their lack of knowledge in that department at the time.
But they took Green anyways, seemingly because they saw the intensity and heart he plays the game with each and every night. That it just one reason the 6’7” forward can match up against centers in the post. But he also has a unique blend of quickness and explosiveness, something that works in his favor more than a few times a night.
Looking at every category charted by NBA.com in their player tracking section, Green’s opponent’s shooting percentages are at least 6.4 percent worse than average. On the whole, opponents shoot just 38.5 percent on all field goal attempts when Green guards them.
That is an elite defender.
Notice that Green ends up switching onto James Harden on this isolation.
He displays active hands and feet yet never loses sight of Harden’s belly button. Harden wants to get to the rim, but cannot get a step on Green. And remember, Harden is the best in the league at getting to the basket any time he wants.
Green may not be the MVP of the league, but the fact that he can so easily lock down a guy who could win the award shows how valuable of a defender he is.
Next: Height is not a disadvantage