The Dallas Mavericks drafted Josh Green 18th overall in 2020, and he was quickly written off as a bust after failing to earn a consistent role as a rookie. Green showed flashes, but it was never enough to warrant consistent playing time.
Head coach Jason Kidd talked about helping Green develop during his introductory press conference, but he was still on the outside of the rotation looking in to begin the season. Green did not break in until Dec. 27, but he has played in every game since.
The 21-year-old has a unique skill set that makes him difficult to comp. Green is a poor shooter, but a good passer with a high basketball IQ. He holds his own on the defensive end of the floor but does not produce a ton of box score stats. Green has played his way into the rotation, but will he stick in the playoffs.
Josh Green earned minutes: Will he crack Dallas Mavericks playoff rotation?
The Mavs need a wing to step up after Tim Hardaway Jr. broke a bone in his foot that will cause him to miss extended time. Green is taking those minutes, despite not being able to fill THJ’s role as an instant offense creator.
Since Dec. 27, Green is averaging 6.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 18.3 minutes per game. He is shooting 53.3 percent from the field, but just 28.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
His advanced metrics are outstanding this season. He has a .153 win shares per 48 minutes, which is well above the league average of .100. His offensive rating is 123 and just 108 on defense. Green has given the Mavericks quality rotation minutes, but can he do so in the postseason?
The 21-year-old’s lack of shooting is the worry. Teams will leave him open beyond the 3-point line and dare Green to shoot. The 6’5 wing has done well at making the extra pass when defenders close out this season, but they may not in the playoffs. Green’s effectiveness will likely dip in the postseason as the opposition game plans for every contingency, but it has still been positive to see him earn a role in his second NBA season.
The best is still yet to come from Josh Green. The 21-year-old continues to improve and has a high ceiling. Fans should not write him off as a draft bust yet. Expect him to be a steady rotation for the Dallas Mavericks for the remainder of his rookie contract.