Draymond Green expects to be late 1st-round pick

Associated Press Modified: May 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: May 7, 2012
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Draymond Green knows some NBA teams will think he isn't tall or quick enough to make it in the league.

The former Michigan State star, though, said he wouldn't come up short if his intangibles could be measured.

"No one has more heart or a better work ethic than me," Green said in a recent interview, gazing across a practice court toward two of the Final Four banners he helped the Spartans earn.

The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Green already has a workout scheduled with Boston, one of about a dozen teams that have expressed an interest in the versatile player.

"I hear I could go anywhere from 20 to 30," he said. "But you never know, so I'm going to control what I can control and that's to be ready for any and every opportunity I get to show what I can do."

Green, the lone senior on The Associated Press' All-America team last season, might be overlooked by teams early in the first round because some scouts don't think he's big enough to play power forward or agile enough to be a small forward. Of the previous 16 seniors on the AP All-America team since 2003, 15 of them were drafted in the first round. The one exception was former Villanova star Scottie Reynolds, who wasn't drafted at all.

The Utah Jazz don't have a first-round pick, but their vice president of player personnel sounds as if he wishes the team did.

"We really like Draymond," Jazz executive Walt Perrin said. "If he goes in the 20-to-30 range, which I think is an accurate estimation at this point, he'll be going to a pretty good team that might be able to give him time to develop.

"Teams will want to figure out if he can play the 3 (small forward) or be a small 4 (power forward) — or play both. Our league has gotten smaller, so we do have some 6-7 and 6-8 power forwards."

One of them is 6-8, 253-pound Paul Millsap, who has developed into a solid contributor and is perhaps a player Green could become in the league.

"That's not a bad comparison, especially in terms of their bodies," Perrin said. "At the same stage, Paul was a better rebounder, but Draymond is a better offensive player."

Green averaged 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season. The Big Ten player of the year became the first player from one of the nation's six power conferences to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists since Tim Duncan did it at Wake Forest during the 1996-97 season.

He helped the Spartans win 107 games, three Big Ten titles, make two trips to the Final Four and claim a conference tournament title.