Dec 12, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is pressured by Golden State Warriors small forward Draymond Green (23) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors: Can Draymond Green Be the Dubs’ Sixth Man in 2013?

Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry provided big sparks off the bench for the Golden State Warriors this past season. However, they won’t be retained after having their rights renounced following the Andre Iguodala signing.

Losing Jack and Landry is a huge blow to the Warriors’ bench. The Warriors are going to need a player or two to step up and fight to be the sixth man. Perhaps with Iguodala now on ship, Harrison Barnes can be that guy.

Barnes is a great penetrator which is a good thing for the Warriors’ second unit. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are elite shooters, but Jack and Landry were the main scorers off the bench.

Draymond Green is another candidate for sixth man. With Landry gone, the Warriors are in dire need of a player that can rebound and stick with the lengthier opponents.

Although Green is 6’7”, he played power forward at times during the Warriors’ playoff run. Festus Ezeli’s injury should also come into play in determining Green’s role with the team.  Other than Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Andris Biedrins, the Warriors don’t have any other big men.  That alone makes Green valuable and a candidate for the sixth man.

Green had a horrible rookie season when it came to shooting; he only connected on 32.7 percent of his shots. But when the playoffs rolled around and he got more playing time, Green’s shooting percentage went up 10 percent.

One good thing about Green is that he already has experience being the sixth man.  He received the Big 10 Sixth Man of the Year award in 2010 while at Michigan State, where he played for four years.

Draymond isn’t a player that is exceptional at any one thing. In fact, he is rather average across the board. He isn’t a great shooter, he doesn’t have the size to be an elite rebounder and he doesn’t pass particularly well.

But somehow, Green still manages to make the plays the team needs him to make.  He hustles more than any other Warrior, and he has the confidence to take what the defense gives him. In the playoffs, he managed to shoot 39 percent from three-point range, even though the fans cringed every time he put up a shot.

In a regular season game against the Miami Heat, he was given the task of guarding LeBron James. LeBron obviously can’t be stopped by any one player, but Green was playing him tough and he didn’t back down even a bit.  He could be seen jawing with LeBron throughout the game.

To cap it off, Green also made the game-winning layup on an assist from Jack. After the game, LeBron sought out Green and seemed to give him some much deserved praise.

It’s hard to see Green becoming an elite player in the NBA, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him become a valuable asset for the Warriors.  He has the confidence, the hustle and the experience to be the sixth man of the future for the Warriors.

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Tags: Carl Landry Draymond Green Golden State Warriors Jarrett Jack Klay Thompson NBA NBA Free Agency Stephen Curry

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