2021 NBA Draft: How much did Jalen Green's G-league decision affect his projection?

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How much did Jalen Green's G-league decision affect his projection? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards are picking squarely in the middle of the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. Whether Washington trades up, down or stays firm at No. 15, here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who the Wizards could consider selecting.

2021 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jalen Green

Team: G-League Ignite

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 19

Height: 6-6

Weight: 180

Wingspan: 6-7

2020/21 stats: 15 G, 17.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.3 bpg, 46.1 FG% (6.3/13.6), 36.5 3PT% (2.1/5.7), 82.9 FT%

Player comparison: Zach LaVine

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 3rd, Sports Illustrated 3rd, Ringer 4th, NBADraft.net 3rd, Bleacher Report 3rd

5 things to know:

-Jalen Green will go down as the first player from the G-League to be drafted straight into the NBA. He - along with Jonathan Kuminga - decided to skip the traditional college path and immediately become a professional by entry into the NBA's developmental league. It earned him $500,000 for one year of play. Some were critical of his decision and thought it would hinder his ability to be a top-tier draft pick. The debate will go on whether he could have elevated to being the No. 1 overall pick if he played collegiately or not. But, it certainly didn't hurt his draft stock as he remains a consensus top-four pick. 

-Playing with the G-League Ignite, the sole focus of his team was to improve Green's game along with the other developmental prospects. That's far more than any collegiate prospect could say, as sights were set on competing for titles, awards, coaching jobs, etc. With the Ignite, it was clear he was the best player on the team, scoring the most points and being, statistically, the team's best defender. 

-Green's scoring prowess is at an elite level already, figuring to be an impactful edition in this year's draft. Because he was playing against other professionals, Green's game rounded out in the G-League. The shooting guard already has 'the Harden step-back' in his repertoire. He also can attack the rim with circus-like finishes.

-Green has represented the United States on the international court. In all three instances, his teams have won gold. His debut came on the U-16 squad in 2017 and he was named MVP in the 2018 U-17 World Cup a year later. Most recently, he played at the U-19 World Cup, averaging 10.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

-Development in the G-League was crucial to help prepare Green for his rookie season. And, in his final game with the G-League Ignite, Green showed out with his best performance of the season: 30 points (11-for-20 FG) with three 3-pointers and 20 second-half points. 

Fit in the NBA:

No one drafting in the lottery is good enough to pass on the scoring ability of Jalen Green. Positioned next to a solid point guard would greatly benefit him and not have the offensive load falling on his shoulders. 

There are clear shades of Bradley Beal's game in Green's. He's an explosive secondary playmaker that thrives when attacking the rim, which also sets him up for space as a jump shooter. The only scoring element missing from Green's game right now is a mid-range game. 

And if the scoring prowess isn't enough to sell you on Green, his athleticism will. When hitting the open floor, there may not be a better prospect in this year's class. 

In fact, even outside the top five where Green is expected to be drafted, any team would love to add him to a roster. There is so much that he does well already and his performance in the G-League shows that in a few years he may very well be the best player from this class. He is the perfect blend of potential and NBA readiness. 

Most of the teams that are currently in the top five would be good fits for the shooting guard. Houston and Oklahoma City would fit well for him because he would not be relied upon as a 3-point threat, rather just an element of his game. Orlando would also love to have another scorer to put in their backcourt as well. 

It doesn't matter much, though. Green's talent and NBA readiness/potential is just too good to pass up. Draft him now, deal with the roster fit later.