Warriors have reason to believe JaMychal Green’s past self is emerging

The Warriors’ anticipated addition of veteran forward JaMychal Green, who will reportedly accept a buyout of the Oklahoma City Thunder and making San Francisco his next home after becoming an unrestricted free agent doesn’t jump off the page at first glance.

He’s not the biggest name. There were others with better known pedigrees on the open market. His stats last season were good…they weren’t great. But just like they’ve done in the past, and just like they’ve done earlier this offseason the signing of Donte DiVincenzothe Warriors are banking on the JaMychal Green of the past to emerge, and they have evidence to back up their thought process.

Green, 32, has spent his entire eight-year Western Conference career between the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. He played 23 regular-season games against the Warriors, finishing as the third-most game against any opponent. During that span, Green averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. However, he wasn’t anywhere near those numbers last season.

Overall, Green had his worst stat campaign last season. He averaged 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and an ugly 26.6 percent from 3-point range. Aside from still having a strong overall shot percentage, Green also shot a career-high 87.1 percent from the free throw line, a number that usually correlates with a much better clip from deep.

How much reason is there to think that Green’s 3-point percentage as a warrior should increase exponentially? The 2021-22 season sure looks like an anomaly.

That 3-point percentage of 26.6 was 13.3 percent worse than the previous season, 6.7 percent lower than his previous career low from his second season as a pro, and 11.4 percent lower than his career average in the 2020 season -21

In the 2020-21 season, Green made 39.9 percent of threes for the Nuggets while averaging 3.4 distance attempts per game. He played the Warriors three times, going 4-for-10 with 3 points and moving up in the Nuggets’ only win over Golden State. In that win, Green scored 15 points, shot 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 on threes, grabbed nine rebounds, and was up 12.

His plus-minus for that win was game-high. Better than Nikola Jokic and better than Jamal Murray.

What should bring the Warriors even more to Green is the 2019 NBA Playoffs. In particular, Green shows against the Warriors in the first round. In six games, Green averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. More importantly, he shot 53.5 percent from the field and was an eye-opener 52.2 percent (12-for-23) on 3-pointers.

Of his 23 3-point attempts in that Warriors-Clippers series, 20 were catch-and-shoot attempts and all were considered either open or wide-open. With the talent and scoring chances he’ll be surrounded by at the Warriors, Green should be able to find plenty of undisputed shots off the arc. He won’t add much if anything to his own shot from there, but he can pose a mind-boggling threat as a catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter.

All of his 3-pointers were supported last season. In fact, each of the 204 three-pointers has been endorsed by Green over the past three years. Last season, 95 percent of Otto Porter Jr.’s three-pointers involved assists, and the two share very similar characteristics.

Green is listed at 6-foot-8 and 227 pounds. Porter is 6ft 8 tall and weighs 198 pounds. Green is a 47.2 percent shooter and 36.6 percent a 3-point shooter. Porter has career clips of 47.7 percent overall and 39.8 percent from Deep. But Green has averaged 5.7 rebounds per game compared to Porter’s 5.1 and is more athletic with the ability to still get over the edge.

He should also be able to play in back-to-backs and the Warriors shouldn’t have to worry about a long injury history.

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Looking at the Warriors’ departures, Green is a clear Porter replacement and his height and length help offset the loss to Nemanja Bjelica a bit. Add in the fact that Green will be the newest player in what appears to be a more athletic Warriors roster — he had 50 more dunks than Porter last season — it’s clear Patience paid off for the reigning champion.

General Manager Bob Myers knows how to put the pieces together Creating a perfect puzzle. There’s no reason to doubt what appears to be his latest theft.

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