Why Draymond Green Is An Overrated “Superstar”
I’m going to start this post off first by saying that I do not hate Draymond Green. Do i think he's a good player? Absolutely. Do I think he's a great player? Sure. Do I think he's a superstar? Definitely not.
Now you may be thinking, “Man you’re crazy, he's a key piece on the Golden State Warriors who are coming off the best season in NBA history”. Yes this is true, I’m not writing this post to argue that he’s not a pivotal piece in what might be the best team ever assembled, I’m writing this to simply state that he is NOT a superstar.
He is on a star studded roster
Yes I understand that being on a star studded roster doesn't necessarily mean you’re overrated and not a superstar, I get that. However, I do think this plays a HUGE influence on his production. The Warriors have Steph Curry (2 time MVP), Klay Thompson (one of the best shooters and defenders in the game) and oh yea they just added Kevin Durant (also a former MVP). At this point, Draymond is the 4th scoring option on the team! The 4th! There is so much firepower on this squad its ridiculous! I know that this isn’t news to anyone. But as the 4th option (especially with these elite scorers) he is continuously unaccounted for on the offensive end and left with WIDE open looks (and rightfully so). His defenders are forced to help out on the previously mentioned stars, and this results in Draymond being left by his lonesome. And if you’re left open in the NBA and can’t knock down the shot, you got problems. Still, I can’t hate on the guy for making the most of his opportunities.
At this point you might be saying “Okay, well we can throw out the scoring. Draymond Green brings so much more to the table other than that. He fills up the stat sheet with assists/rebounds etc.”. Yes this is true! He sure does fill up the stat sheet. However, not for nothing, but if you played with ELITE scorers, theres no reason any of us shouldn't average 7.4 assists per game (2015-2016). Curry (50%), Thompson (47%), and Durant (50%) are some of the best scorers in the NBA and are capable of scoring at anywhere on the floor. I understand Kevin Durant wasn't on the team last year but one could only expect those numbers to increase. Therefore, I am completely, 100% not impressed with his watered down assist numbers. It's not like this guy has the passing ability of Steve Nash. As a 6’7 “Big man”, he's has average to above average ball handling at best.
He’s an Elite Defender
“Okay so we can debate his offensive numbers, but hey he's an ELITE defender”. Woah... this one strikes a cord with me. Being one of the few fans that actually respects people that hustle and play defense (an art that is lost in today’s game but that’s a post for a different time) Draymond Green is at best a slightly above average defender. He’s not bad, I’m not saying he’s James Harden, he's a million times better than that. But I will say he’s the 3rd best defender on his team, that I would say is a fact. The defenders above him? Easy. Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson. Iggy has been a key factor for their success, especially in the playoffs. Damn, the guy even won finals MVP mainly for his defensive efforts on the best player to ever play the game (yea I said it) *Cough* LeBron *Cough*. Klay Thompson on the other hand is widely renown as one of the best perimeter defenders in the game. He is agile enough to move with the quickest of guards and his defensive motor and consistency is up there with the best of them. Heck, he usually has to match up with the best scoring guard on the opposing team. Mainly because Steph Curry is a liability on defense and The Warriors need Curry to “focus more energy on the offensive side of the ball." Okay, so that’s the two that are above Draymond and that’s just on his team, I won’t even bother getting to the Kawhi Leonards of the league. And this is why I think Draymond Green gets way to much credit and labeled an “Elite” defender. “He plays center in the small ball lineup”. Yea he has grit, he hustles, and he's always willing to block out when the shot goes up no matter how big the other player is. However, when Golden State goes with the “small ball lineup”, the opposing team usually is forced to match and will go small as well. So yea, Draymond is “playing the 5” but really he's not doing anything more than guarding a stretch 4. When they play the handful of teams that actually have scoring centers(Miami, Detroit, etc.) Golden State will counter with ZaZa Pachula (Andrew Bogut the previous year). It’s not like they are rolling out Draymond to match up with Andre Drummond on a nightly basis. I think he gets a little more exposed this year on the defensive side of the ball now that Bogut and Ezeli are no longer on the team.
Ok I'm going to wrap this up because this post has already gone longer than I originally planned for. In conclusion! I’m completely not sold on Draymond Green being labeled a “Superstar” because of the fact that his offensive numbers are skewed. He’s the 4th option on the best team in the league, no team is game planning for “how to slow down Draymond Green”, and he gets wayyyyyyy too much credit on the defensive side of the ball for “playing the 5”. When someone is classified as a “Superstar” I think that means that they are a top player in the league, someone who could go to any team and instantly make them at least a playoff contender. If Draymond Green were to go to the Brooklyn Nets, I don’t see anyone arguing that they are all the sudden a playoff contender. I believe that Draymond is indeed a great player and what the heck, bring him to the Knicks :). But in no way am I giving him the label of a SUPERSTAR.