Draymond Green is one of the best and most versatile defenders of his generation.
Despite being as short as 6′ 6″ by some measurements and as tall as 6′ 9” by others, he routinely has slowed down opposition that had significant size advantages over him.
This season the San Antonio Spurs drafted Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Wembanyama, by all accounts, is as short as 7′ 2″ according to some measurements and as tall as 7′ 5″ by others.
According to Green, the logic behind defending Wembanyama is fairly straight-forward.
“You got to press up to him,” Green said.
“You can’t let him get comfortable. If you let him get comfortable you lose because you’re not blocking his shot. He may not even see your contest, like he’s 7’5″, he shoot the ball up here.
“So with a guy like that you gotta do your work early. I‘m crowding him from the time he starts running up and down the court. When they get the rebound and they start coming I’m crowding because I can’t let him get to a space where he’s comfortable.”
Logically, it all makes sense. Actually executing on that plan will probably be easier said than done, though.
A lot will obviously depend on how Wembanyama’s skillset from Europe translates to the NBA level. At the moment, all anyone knows is that he had success over there and that his sister is a huge fan favorite among hoops fans. That’s it.
Now that’s how you celebrate July 4th. https://t.co/vX7DzZkRFX
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 5, 2023
How good he ends up being on the NBA court will dictate how effective guys like Green will be at defending him.
If anyone can do it, though – Green is as good a candidate to slow Wembanyama down as anyone.