Draymond Green was the catalyst for many of the Golden State Warriors postseason runs the past half-decade or so. The Michigan State product was particularly useful on offense in the 2019 Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, running the full length of the court as a one-man fastbreak to penetrate and confuse the opposing defense.
Over his career, Green has also been a useful screener and high post passer, as well as a scorer on offensive rebounds. People laud him for his defense, but Green is a potent offensive player as well. That’s perhaps been forgotten during his 3-point shooting woes as of late.
So if No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson can come close to Green’s effectiveness, it would be a blessing. Green is a future hall-of-famer, and Williamson is the next great hope for the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that needs something moving forward after the departure of Anthony Davis.
To that effect, Pelicans head man David Griffin hopes that Williamson will be able to replicate some of what Green does on the offensive side of the floor.
Speaking this week, Griffin said that he thinks that Williamson has a similar skill set on offense to Green.
Via Jeff Duncan of The Athletic:
The thing about Zion, though, that excites us is, it’s not that he’s going to carry you offensively, it’s that he’s going to be able to facilitate offense. If you look at him as an extremely athletic Draymond Green type who may be able to facilitate all things for others and get out in transition and make plays … that’s exciting. And because that’s what he natively really does, we’re not going to ask him to carry an undue burden (offensively). We’re going to ask him to be Zion, to figure out how that player interfaces with the rest of the pieces we have and how it can be equative to winning.
This was the same interview where Griffin said that Williamson was still growing. As we have seen with current MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, guys who continue to grow into their NBA career can quickly become dominant on defense as well.
Perhaps because of the way he moves on the floor, or because of his size, strength, and full-speed-ahead attitude, others have already compared Williamson to Green.
That comparison is just wishful thinking at this juncture, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility and a bigger, thicker Draymond Green in Louisiana would be a welcome addition to a team that looks hopeful for the Western Conference playoffs already this year.