Damian Lillard went first to New Orleans, Anthony Davis came off the board at No. 2 to Charlotte, and the Wizards were left with a similar decision they had eight years ago in our 2012 NBA redraft.
Bradley Beal was available, but yet so was Draymond Green. Green was passed on 34 times back in 2012 but has since become one of the best defensive players the NBA has ever seen. He was the catalyst for the small-ball movement with his ability to defend every position on the court and handle the ball in transition as a playmaker.
In 2012, taking Beal may have been the easy choice for the Wizards, but this time? Not so much.
We still ended up putting Beal down as the Wizards' choice because of his fit next to John Wall and how much more valuable a scorer is to a defensive anchor in today's NBA.
Sure, Green would've helped the Wizards become one of the best defensive teams in the league and led a potent transition attack next to John Wall, but would that really have resulted in more playoff success for Washington?
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With Wall playing as the primary distributor in most offensive sets, the Wizards would've had trouble finding an optimal role for Green on that end unless he developed into a better three-point shooter. Beal is the perfect running-mate for a pass-first player like Wall. He can create his own shot, run off screens, score on cuts and command enough attention from opposing defenses where it creates more driving lanes for Wall. Green just doesn't give you that.
While Beal holds his own as a defender, Green changed the game with his versatility. Take Green off the Warriors, and they probably don't win a single title unless Kevin Durant makes the same free-agent decision he did in 2016. But you could say the same about Stephen Curry, and at least with Curry the Warriors would still have an evolutionary offensive system.
Players like Green are essential to winning championships, though you still need to secure scorers like Beal and Curry first if you're going to have any shot at success in the postseason.
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