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Why I’d rather have Draymond Green than Anthony Davis

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The two have been linked this year in trade rumours, but Draymond Green just proved why the Warriors need him more.

NBA: Playoffs-New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Now I’ve got your attention with that headline, I’ve got something to say.

Throughout the season the #FutureWarrior crew has started casting glances in the direction of Anthony Davis. The realities of the NBA salary cap mean that this would cost one of the Warriors core, and Draymond Green’s name has been mentioned.

It’s time to settle this.

What we have just witnessed is the besting of an undoubted franchise cornerstone by a perennially underrated and under-appreciated future NBA Hall of Famer.

Fortunately, the Warrior Wonder that is Draymond Green is not underrated or underappreciated round here. He has just become the first Warrior ever to average a triple-double in a playoff series, and he didn’t even have to chase rebounds or hunt assists to do it.

Now, this is not about diminishing Davis. He is a tremendous talent who is poised to have a great career; Davis is just not worth coming at the expense of Green.

Before the playoffs started, the Athletic’s Anthony Slater wrote that the pressure was on Green to deliver after a bit of a sleepy season.

And boy, did he deliver. From the beginning, Draymond turned up the amp and blew out the speakers.

Draymond Green is a winner

But beyond the hot takes, this has always been the case with Green. The Unanimous One may have been the engine behind the 73 win season, but Green was the fuel. Time and again, he was the guy pushing on to chase the historic record.

Green made the NCAA Final Four twice with Michigan State, and since he came into the league the Warriors have made the playoffs every year. It was his insertion into the starting lineup that coincided with the Warriors rise to the top.

Put simply, Draymond is a winner. He does all the intangible stuff, he dives on floor, fires up his teammates, and makes everyone around him better.

He’s changed the game defensively, using his strength, smarts and skills to unlock the small ball revolution.

There are few players of his ilk in recent NBA history. Dennis Rodman or Ben Wallace are probably the best comparisons — undersized beasts who had a similar impact on the game defensively — but Green is in a different league as a playmaker.

Davis is flashier, puts up the stats, and is growing every year as a game-changing talent in his own right.

But trading Green for Davis would be the basketball equivalent of gentrification; Draymond Green is too important to the culture of this team, too vital to the championship era of this franchise.

So let’s put down the photoshopped jerseys and #FutureWarrior hashtags, and take this moment to appreciate a current Warrior legend.