Draymond Green is turning into one of the best second-round picks and draft steals off all-time with the season he had with the Golden State Warriors. But would you believe he almost played for the Cleveland Cavaliers?
In an interview with the ESPN, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert revealed that Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo called him at the end of the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Izzo was urging him to select Draymond Green, who was the “real deal” with either of their second round picks that were 33rd and 34th overall.
However, Gilbert and the Cavs picked center Bernard James from Florida State University and swingman Jae Crowder from Marquette. Both were later traded on draft night to the Dallas Mavericks along with the 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham for Kelenna Azubuike and 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller.
It turned out bad for the Cavaliers as Green turned into a triple-double machine and an All-Star. Gilbert added that he’s having sleepless nights when he thinks about the gaffe he made in that year’s draft.
“I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat that we didn’t take him. I didn’t listen to my gut,” Gilbert said.
Green is not the only pick they blew in 2012 as Jae Crowder turned into a borderline All-Star with the Boston Celtics this season. The development of both players under in Cleveland was not guaranteed if they ended up there.
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Nonetheless, it is still painful for Gilbert and all the teams that had the opportunity to draft Draymond Green to know that they passed on a possible all-time great. In his fourth year in the NBA, he averaged 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.
The 26-year-old was selected to his first All-Star Game and he was the anchor on both sides for the Warriors that won a record of 73 games. Green and the rest of Golden State are up 2-1 in the NBA Finals against Gilbert’s team with Game 4 on Friday.
Photo Courtesy: @Money23Green/Twitter