May 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (4) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler (5) during game four of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
[Editor’s note: Prior to the start of the regular season on Oct. 31, I will be previewing every player on the Spurs’ roster, in no particular order. Alphabetical order is lame anyway.]
Overview: Due to beneficial circumstances outside of his control (ahem, James Anderson), Green was able to vault up the depth chart and start more than half of the Spurs’ regular season games. There wasn’t any empirical evidence to base his past season off of so it remains to be seen if last season was a true indication of Green’s talent or a result of the Spurs organization.
Role: Green was the team’s best perimeter shooter, hitting 43.6 percent of his 3-pointers. Its even more remarkable for a player who never, in four seasons, led the University of Carolina in 3-point shooting. Green was one of four Spurs, excluding Richard Jefferson, to make more than 40 percent of their 3-pointers.
Offensively, about half of his offensive attempts are from behind the arc. A positive step in the right direction would be if Green could improve his finishing ability at the rim, where he made less than 60 percent of his attempts (league average for guards was 61 percent according to HoopData.com); though not quite the cutter of Kawhi Leonard, he possesses the athleticism to make deft cuts against a defense keyed on Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
Future: Having signed a three-year deal, guaranteed for $11.3 million, this summer, Green’s job security is essentially locked barring any unforeseen circumstances. The 25-year-old shooting guard will probably start, as long as he doesn’t go through an extended shooting slump that maligned him in the Western Conference finals, giving Popovich the flexibility to bring Ginobili off the bench.