Atlanta Hawks: 4 Positives and Negatives of Potential Draymond Green Trade

Draymond Green Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Draymond Green Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Draymond Green Atlanta Hawks (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images) /

Positive: Defense

First off, Draymond is still a world-class defender. For an Atlanta Hawks team that was dead last in opponent points per game per Basketball Reference at 119.4, Draymond would immediately slide in as the team’s starting five – helping to spearhead a small-ball lineup that should, in theory at least, provide similar value that the “Hamptons Five” or “death lineup” does to the Warriors.

Despite noticeable signs of aging (which we’ll get to later), Draymond is still lethal on the defensive end. Statistically, the numbers back this up.

Among players that played 65 games or more (Dray played 66), Green was 8th in ESPN’s defensive real/plus minus metric with 3.41. Every single player ahead of Draymond were stiff big men who are particularly adept at switching onto the perimeter – something that Green has hung his hat on throughout his career.

That DRPM was higher than players such as likely MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Paul George and Joel Embiid.

BBall Index’s defensive player impact plus/minus filters out luck and also doesn’t rely as much on the play of teammates. By that metric, Green is tied for 4th in the NBA with a 3.1 DPIPM with Brook Lopez. Only Rudy Gobert, Marc Gasol and Giannis are ahead of him.

Clearly, a four-time All-Defensive team player and 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year would greatly aid and Atlanta Hawks team that desperately needs a defensive upgrade to truly compete.