Jalen Green is a top-five rookie prospect in July’s NBA draft, but according to him, he feels that he should be the number one draft pick. That is actually what he said when he recently spoke to Bleacher Report’s Farbod Esnaashari.
“For me, it’s like a motivation thing,” Green said. “Just because, at first I wasn’t even talked about going No. 1 because of the route I took. It was different, and I was off the map for a little bit. Even after the bubble, they still were talking about that. Just seeing that now is more motivation.
“I feel like that’s where I should have been. It’s a dream come true for sure; it does give me butterflies. It makes my people happy. It makes me happy. It’s just crazy to see.”
Last season, as a member of the G League Ignite, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 assists in 15 games.
Leading up to the draft, he has been training with Mark Edwards. Edwards recently compared Green’s game to Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Zach LaVine.
“Honestly, I do not have many comparisons to him. The only comparison I can give him is a combination of these three players, and I do not slight these three players because they are great players and superstars. These players are Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Zach LaVine. Bradley Beal has an amazing skill set, and it is through the roof. So, when we watch the tape and try to emulate Bradley Beal. We also must understand that he was doing this in his first and second seasons in the league. He was getting to his spots and making shots,” said Edwards.
“The thing about it once you figure out what you will do in the league and your game adapts. So, when do into the summers, you say I have to add these certain things and master those things. Every year added something to your bag; the same goes for Devin Booker and Zach LaVine. All three of those guys are amazing scores, and you are talking about guys who are averaging 25 plus points a game. Zach LaVine is the more athletic of the three, Devin Booker is probably the most fundamentally sound of the three. So, I combine those three and take things from those guys to add to Jalen’s game to go with what he already has. I think we have an amazing player, especially if he is true to the game and continues to grind.”
On the defensive end he has great footwork.
“He got great footwork already and a lot of people talk about defense. Defense is more of a desire I want to win every match up. We watch [Philadelphia 76ers guard] Matisse Thybulle, who I consider to be the best defensive player in the NBA. He is also one of the best defensive players I have seen in my life. Matisse Thybulle is so good in college, that he had a defensive mixtape showcasing his defensive prowess. Watching him slide through screens and get skinny, chest up against his opponents,” Edwards said.
“Also, using his length and bothering shots. I have watched him match up against Devin Booker and Bradley Beal. I’m not going to say he got the best of them, but I will say he bothered them a lot. To the point where they had to really get in their bag to make things happen to score the ball.”
He would go on to say, once they know which team that Green will be head to, they will start adapting to their defensive scheme.
The 2021 NBA draft is on July 29, 2021 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York.