Utah Jazz Top 5 Early Potential Free Agent Targets: Small Forwards

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Apr 4, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

For me, aside from Leonard, perhaps no player moves the free agent needle like Golden State’s Draymond Green. If I were GM of the Utah Jazz, he would be my number one target at either forward position this offseason.

Few players impact the game defensively on a level comparable to Green. He currently ranks second in the NBA in plus-minus with a score of 10.3 in the plus column. With Green on the floor, Warriors opponents are scoring only 95.7 points per 100 possessions. This defensive rating is good for fifth in the league among players appearing in at least 50 games.

A closer look at Green’s defensive numbers make his performance on that side of the ball all the more impressive.

His defensive field goal percentage differential is off the charts good. Players aren’t simply less effective from the field when guarded by Green; it’s a night and day difference. Overall, opposing shooters are connecting at a rate of over seven-percent less than normal when checked by Green. This is an elite number and a big reason why Green is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

He’s simply one of the most versatile defensive players in the league, with an ability play the three, four or five and guard every position out on the court.

On offense, his game continues to grow and could make for an interesting cog in the Jazz system. This season, he’s shooting a respectable 34-percent from deep. Most of these attempts have come from above the break; if he could incorporate the corner three, that percentage would inevitably rise. He’s also a willing and able passer, averaging just under four assists per game.

Continued offensive development could make Green a max-player. As he enters restricted free agency this summer, some would argue that he’s achieved that status already. Bottom line, if the Jazz are willing to give out big money this offseason, there may not be a more worthy recipient than Green.

So while there’s a good chance that the Warriors could match on an offer sheet, Green remains my top target at small forward for Utah.

For free agents at the CENTER position, click here.
For free agents at the POWER FORWARD position, click here.

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