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Dallas Mavericks: Ceilings and floors for the rookies

Dallas Mavericks Josh Green Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Josh Green
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Green can still be a 3-and-D wing for the Dallas Mavericks

Josh Green was easily the most accomplished rookie for the Dallas Mavericks, but the bar wasn’t exactly set high. His 422 minutes thus far leads the rookies, but that’s still an extremely small sample size. For comparison, most NBA starters reach that total by their 15th game.

Green was selected for his potential to make an impact on both ends of the court. Nowadays, a 3-and-D wing is the hottest commodity in the NBA. A player who can play off of a team’s stars while slowing down the opposition’s best player is the Dogecoin of the league.

In his limited opportunity, Green has shown that he’s a little green on both ends of the court. The freshman often looked lost in his early showings as a professional basketball player. Still, even as the rookie was just getting his feet wet, he showcased the promise that made him Dallas’s first selection at 18th overall in the draft.

While a little small as a wing defender in both height and weight, Green has natural instincts and next-level effort when chasing down ball-handlers and filling passing lanes.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/01/15/0022000182/267/9bb4d75c-4e9d-47bb-d026-e22ac5e0cc86_1280x720.mp4

Green uses his top-level speed here to chase down Khris Middleton on a semi-fast break following a Dallas missed free-throw. He then uses his quick hands to poke the ball free resulting in a steal. His activity on defense is already better than most NBA vets, and his instincts as a defender can’t be taught.

The same can be said on the offensive end. He’s proved that he’s a willing cutter, even if he’s not usually in the right place at the right time. Having a player who’s willing to try to create off-the-ball is a rare asset.

Green is an underrated passer. He’ll probably never be the primary option as a ball-handler, but he shouldn’t need to be. His vision leading the breaks and ability to make simple passes out of the pick-and-roll could earn him more responsibility within the offense.

The key piece missing for the 3-and-D prospect is the three. Green is shooting an abysmal 17 percent from deep so far in his rookie season, albeit on only 23 attempts. The 20-year-old does not have the confidence in his shot to truly create space for Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis to attack the basket.

In the offseason, Green should narrow his focuses on bulking up to disrupt bigger wing players, improving his outside shot, and getting a general feel for the NBA game. With marginal improvements in those areas, he could be a meaningful contributor in year two.

Next: Green's ceiling and floor

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