Draymond Green’s All Star Bid Would Mark Change In NBA Philosophy

Based on the latest returns of votes, Draymond Green could be a Western Conference starter in the frontcourt at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.

Starters for the All-Star Game won’t be announced until January 21st, but if the voting continues to follow the current trend, Draymond Green would start alongside teammate Stephen Curry in addition to Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant for the Western Conference. The Warriors’ starting power forward currently has a slim lead over Kawhi Leonard and Blake Griffin in the race for a starting spot in the West’s frontcourt.

Green is having a breakout season. He’s shown vast improvement every season for the past couple years, but this season, his contributions to the team are showing up on the stat sheet more than ever. This season, he’s averaging career bests in every statistical category with 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He’s also shooting a career-best 47.5 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from three-point range.

He has also recorded eight triple doubles this season (the most in the NBA this season), including a stretch of three-straight triple doubles last week.

His stats are impressive across the board, but Green has also contributed greatly to the Warriors’ success this season because of his personality. He has long been called the “heartbeat” of the Warriors. He’s the team’s hard working, vocal leader, and is also incredibly passionate and loyal to his teammates.

Based on all these traits, he’s incredibly deserving of being named a Western Conference All-Star Game starter. Green recently spoke about what a possible starting spot would be mean to him and Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton discussed how deserving Green is of a starting spot. ESPN.com news services with the report:

“Who knows how it finishes out, but just to be at that point right now is pretty amazing,” said Green, speaking to media in El Segundo, California, where the Warriors were staying in between their road game against the Lakers and one Friday at Portland. “I don’t take it for granted. That’s special to me.

“If I can sneak into the game in general, I’m thankful for that. I’m not greedy at all. But just to see the fan appreciation … I’m thankful for that because all the hard work that goes into this.”

Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said Green’s success this season is a reflection of “what hard work does for somebody.”

“He 100 percent deserves to be an All-Star this year,” Walton said, according to the News Group. “He does everything right, anything you want out of a player. He plays hard every night. He’s skilled. He passes. He shoots. He dribbles. He sacrifices for the team.”

As Walton suggested, Green is an incredibly hard worker that contributes in so many different ways and is completely selfless. These traits make him a big fan favorite and makes him an intriguing option to represent the Warriors and the Western Conference at the All-Star Game this year.

If Green were to start the All-Star Game, it would be meaningful to the Warriors organization, Green’s teammates, his family, and Golden State’s fans. However, Green being named a starter would also be meaningful in the sense that it would symbolize the current shift in the NBA to a more fast-paced style of play that focuses on small ball and utilizing stretch fours like Green.

Many teams are seeking power forwards who are either small forwards who can play the power forward position and add some more speed and versatility to the position or a power forward who can spread the floor and shoot threes. Green is certainly representative of that trend as he’s more the size of a traditional small forward, but he can shoot, guard every position on the court, rebound, as well as pass and set up his teammates.

Green is the definition of versatility, and that would be a great display for the NBA if a player like that started in the All-Star Game. Especially if the Western Conference starters didn’t feature a traditional power forward or center like Griffin, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, or Tim Duncan. It would truly display a current shift in philosophy around the NBA, and that would be interesting for the league as a whole and for fans of all teams.