When we get to this point of the board, it’s pretty tough to find prospects who might be head and shoulders above one another. There may be a height difference between Jalen Smith, the sophomore power forward from Maryland, and Josh Green, the freshman guard from Arizona, but there was no separating them in the latest Brew Hoop Community Draft Board poll, where they tied with 24% of the vote each.
However, they bring vastly different skills to the table. Let’s start with Smith, who boasts 6’10” height and a near 7’2” wingspan. Also, rec specs. We must always recognize the rec specs. He filled up the stat sheet at Maryland, averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 boards and 2.4 blocks per game. His release looks fairly quick and tight for a man his size, even if his percentages paint him as a fairly average shooter. He shot 32.3% on 158 3-point attempts in college. His free throw percentage was 70.9%, but did jump from 65.8% to 75% from his freshman to sophomore year. The mechanics seem sound enough for there to be some upside if he gets with an NBA coach.
He’s known for his floor-running, a valuable trait should he end up with the Bucks who prefer to take their chances in transition. In the screen game, he would be able to dive for finishes at the rim or potentially pick-and-pop if his shot becomes more reliable. Defensively, his block numbers speak for themselves, and he owes quite a bit of that number padding to his solid timing against defenders. If you’re curious how mobile he is defending in space, someone happened to put together this compilation of Jalen Smith guarding switches.
It doesn’t sound like he’s the most versatile big in terms of his passing or dribbling ability, aka, he’s no Bam Adebayo. For the Bucks, he could give them a defensive-minded blocking presence at the rim that could pair with Giannis and potentially even run some pick-and-roll if his shot comes around. The shooting is what would be most enticing if it comes around. The Ringer compares him to Serge Ibaka, that seems like a best case scenario to me. Here’s a full highlight tape for you:
As for Josh Green, he’s more along the lines of a 3-and-D wing, with 6’6” height and a 6’10” wingspan. He was nearly a top-ten recruit coming out of high school (per RSCI) and played major minutes for the Arizona Wildcats as a freshman with nearly 31 minutes per game. He hit 36.1% of his triples (28 attempts per game) and 78% of his free throws. That’s certainly not enough evidence to label him a knockdown shooter, but there’s still room to improve given he’s yet to turn 20.
Watching just a smidgen of his tape at Arizona, he certainly looks more like a spot-up shooter than someone who would be able to attack defenders off the dribble. The Ringer talks about his loose handle, and that’s apparent a few times in the video below when he’s trying to attack defenders or knife through the teeth of the defense.
This is also an unimportant digression, but does his shot mechanics remind anyone else of Rashad Vaughn? Maybe it’s his wide base and the way his legs are turned, but I was getting some bad deja vu thinking back to those times. Anyway, I doubt Green will flame out to that degree, but he similarly didn’t seem to excel at finishing at the rim like Vaughn. He likely has more defensive versatility and ability with his improved length though.
Regardless, Green was on a team with two other freshman, Nico Mannion and Zeke Nnaji, who are projected to potentially go in this draft. Clearly there was some ball sharing that had to happen between all three prospects, none of whom are frequently mocked to go in the lottery. Green certainly seems intriguing enough, and it’s possible he was just marginalized in Arizona. If he can bring defensive intensity from the outset and up his shooting percentage from deep to closer to 40%, he certainly has upside to become the prototypical 3-and-D wing every team craves.
Let’s keep it rolling with our next selection.
My pick for the #23 spot on the community draft board is...
This poll is closed
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Serbia
Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Leandro Bolmaro, SG, Argentina
This poll will close at noon (CST) on Sunday, November 15.
Brew Hoop Draft Board Rankings
- Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
- LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
- James Wiseman, C, Memphis
- Deni Avdija, SF, Israel
- Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
- Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
- Killian Hayes, PG, France
- Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
- Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State
- Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
- Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
- Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
- Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
- Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
- Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
- Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
- Saddiq Bey, PF, Villanova
- Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis
- Theo Maledon, PG, France
- RJ Hampton, PG
- Josh Green, SG, Arizona
- Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland