Michigan State Basketball: Ranking 3 best current Spartans in the NBA

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State basketball
Draymond Green, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

1. Draymond Green, SF/PF, Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green is far and away Tom Izzo’s greatest success story.

An unranked player out of Saginaw, Mich., Green came to MSU in 2008 with almost no expectations. He didn’t start any games, and only played 11 minutes per contest. Over the next few years, Green worked incredibly hard and became a full time starter in 2010. In his junior year, he upped his numbers to 12 points and almost nine rebounds per game.

By his senior season, he averaged 16 and 10 and became the all-time leading rebounder in MSU history. He carried the Spartans to a Big Ten championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He recorded a triple-double against LIU Brooklyn in the first round, posting 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He is one of the most prolific players in Michigan State history and his No. 23 was recently retired this past year.

Green was overlooked in the 2012 NBA Draft for various reasons. He was undersized, they didn’t know what position he would play at the next level, and his offensive game had many question marks. He was finally selected in the second round at No. 35 overall by the Golden State Warriors. He eventually worked his way into the starting lineup in the 2014-15 NBA season, playing a pivotal role on the championship-winning Warriors.

From 2015-18, Green was selected as an All-Star, even winning the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Even though he’s not a prime scorer for an offensive juggernaut, Green has always been one of the — if not the — best defensive players in the NBA.

Even with all the controversy surrounding him in his professional career, it hasn’t stopped him from winning three championships in Golden State. He may be overlooked by some as one of the key parts of the Warriors’ dynasty, but without him, there is no Warriors dynasty.

Going from an unranked high school player to one of the top producers on an all time team no doubt makes him the best Spartan in the NBA.

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