How Draymond Green stood out to ex-Warriors exec Travis Schlenk early

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Alex Didion
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How Draymond stood out to former Warriors exec Schlenk early originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

,Travis Schlenk's 13 seasons in the Warriors' front office oversaw the acquisitions of every core piece of the organization's dynasty over the back half of the 2010s: head coach Steve Kerr, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

Since 2017, Schlenk has overseen the Atlanta Hawks' front office as general manager. He joined KNBR on Friday ahead of the contest between the Warriors and Hawks, and spoke about what made Draymond in particular stand out to him.

"What you really remember about Draymond and obviously all Warriors fans know this, is his basketball IQ," Schlenk told "Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks." "When he was in college as a big guy coming out, everyone was like 'Well, what is he going to play?,' He was a heavier guy playing the power forward spot but only at 6'6, he's got this 7-foot-1, 7'2 wingspan, it doesn't matter really where your head is, it matters where your hands are when they put them above your head, because nobody rebounds the ball with their head.

"He has an unbelievable feel for the game and one of the things that really stands out to me about Draymond is when we brought him in for his pre-draft workout in Oakland, and he was in with a bunch of wings, I don't remember the other people in there, but we did a closeout drill where the shooter was in the corner and the defensive player was on the lane line and the coach kicked it to him and you're basically playing 1-on-1. And he blocked about three or four jump shots just closing out with that great wingspan and being able to stop guys.

"Obviously he's proven to translate in the NBA with his ability to guard on the perimeter and with his strength and intelligence be able to guard in the post."

Schlenk and the Warriors' brain trust selected Green with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and the gamble on him paid off as Draymond has earned five all-defensive team honors as well as two All-NBA selections, helping the Warriors bring three titles to the Bay Area in the process.

RELATED: Draymond wasn't feeling well, gutted out Dubs' loss to Hawks

Green recently joined the "Dubs Talk" podcast and proclaimed his belief that he is the best defender in NBA history.

"I can go all around the league and find good defenders, I just don't think any of them are as good as me," Green said to NBC Sports Bay Area's Kendra Andrews and Grant Liffmann.

"I think I'm the best defender to ever play this game," Green added. "100 percent. That's my opinion. I also think I view the game a lot differently than most people view the game. I think I just see it from a different perspective."

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal respected Draymond for making the claim, while other former NBA players disagreed with Green's bold take.

Clearly Schlenk has a profound appreciation for Draymond's defensive prowess, and has believed in his potential since long before he became an NBA champion.

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