We’ll look back and be thankful Dallas drafted him
I’ve been wanting to write a piece about the rookie from Australia for a long time now. There are many who wish the Mavericks would have selected Desmond Bane or Saddiq Bey instead, but Josh Green will be just what we need in the long term. There are solid arguments as to why Dallas should’ve taken someone that Carlisle is willing to play, but that’s just not what happened. He was a good selection and will be a solid piece for years to come.
Green is only 20 years old and has lots of room to grow. Guys like Bane and Bey are 22, and the situations that they’ve been inserted into along with expectations that came with that could not be more different than Green’s. Those years and that difference in age are key developmental years for a young player. Green gets to grow as a Maverick.
Josh steps into a situation where the team expects to be competitive in the playoffs and we all know how Carlisle feels about rookies. The way to get minutes as a rookie under his system is to show that you play hard and can consistently make good decisions in limited opportunities. In two years, he will be the same age as Bane and Bey and he could have a solid spot within this rotation by then.
He plays hard. Every time he gets on the floor, he is running at a full sprint from spot to spot. He hustles on defense, goes for offensive rebounds, and runs in transition. In terms of workers on the defensive end, he might be in my top 5 and maybe even top 3 on the team. He has incredible bounce and could be a reliable defensive wing to have in Carlisle’s back pocket once he’s given an increase in minutes. That will come with time, as it always does for hard workers.
Areas of Improvement
The biggest thing Green needs is a consistent three point shot. He rarely looks to shoot, which appears to stem from a lack of confidence. That comes with time and the Dallas system puts such a significant emphasis on three-point shooting. With the development of players like Dorian Finney-Smith, I have no doubt that he’ll become a more reliable spot up shooter in time.
The second most important thing for him to improve is his defensive decision making. He plays tough defense and often comes up with steals, but he also commits a lot of dumb fouls. He needs to adjust to the pace and style of the NBA in order to know where he needs to be and where guys are going to go.
Having guys like Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith to provide him with veteran experience will help him improve that area of his game.
The Mavericks don’t need Green to become a shot-creator or a playmaker, though he does have nice passing chops. What Dallas needs is for him to become a consistent three-point shooter and reliable defender. Having another guy like Finney-Smith who’s more of a guard/wing as opposed to a small-ball big/wing will be huge in terms of defensive versatility for this team.
I am very excited to watch Green as he continues to grow in this system.