That might not be too far-fetched, as Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick projects Green, a former star at Michigan State, to be selected 28th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by Oklahoma City, a team on its way to elite status in the NBA.
Amick feels the Thunder would benefit from having Green aboard in the future, citing the 2012 NBA Western Conference Finals as one reason why the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year could be of help.
Anyone who watched the first two games of the Western Conference finals knows that the Thunder need additional skilled big men who boast more than one specialty (see Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka). Green is that guy. He averaged 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a senior, including 17.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in three NCAA tournament games.Having Green go at 28th isn't much of a reach, considering that most analysts have the former Saginaw High star projected in the 20th-35th pick range. Amick has Green in the middle of that range, a place that Spartans coach Tom Izzo sees Green being picked, too.
"I think he is going to be a first-round pick, but you don't ever know in this draft," Izzo said. "There are so many weird things. Trades happen. And he is a unique individual. He's not just a great athlete at 6-9 that they would pick for no reason. He is going to have to go to the right time. But I think he will and I think he will have a good pro career, I really do.
"I have heard (he could get drafted) anywhere from low 20s to 35, somewhere in that area."
The Thunder already have forwards like Lazar Hayward and Nick Collison on its roster, but adding Green would broaden that group's capabilities. Green isn't a prototype for any position, really; he's a more of a mixture between a point guard and small forward, with similar trademarks of a power forward, too. Pegging Green as just a forward wouldn't serve him justice. His versatility is a trait that might make it difficult for the Thunder to pass up come draft day.
Adam Biggers has followed NBA and NCAA basketball or over 20 years. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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