NBA Veteran Draymond Green Believes Teams Will Regret Passing on Rookie Guard, Citing His Impressive Skills and Potential

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green saw firsthand how one special offensive player in Stephen Curry can transform the entire NBA and basketball as a whole.

Now, Green says he sees another player who has star written all over him in former Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham, who was selected No. 8 overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2024 NBA Draft and then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Who won the draft to me was the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Green said on his podcast, The Draymond Green Show. “And the reason the Minnesota Timberwolves won the draft is because they drafted their point guard of the future in Rob Dillingham, who I think is a very special player.”

Green says Dillingham is so special offensively that he can go and create his own shot instead of playing through a system to create one and that teams will regret not drafting him when they had the chance.

“Some of those teams at the top of the draft were afraid because he got swag and he got game and they don’t know if his game is going to fit into their systems that don’t work and get them fired when you can just get a really good player who can score the basketball–Steph Curry–and figure out how the system works for him and then all of a sudden the franchise is in territory it’s never been in before,” Green said. “At times, we run into these guards with swag that – they just don’t fit in the system and so teams run away from them. There’s going to be some teams that’s going to regret passing on Rob Dillingham.”

As a rookie, Dillingham will be in the perfect position to learn from veteran point guard Mike Conley before eventually replacing him and playing alongside one of the league’s brightest young stars in Anthony Edwards, who helped drag Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals this season at just 22-years-old.

Dillingham, who declared for the NBA Draft while forgoing his remaining eligibility on April 9, was named SEC Sixth Man of the Year, Second Team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and to the All-Freshman Team after averaging 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 47.5% from the floor, 44.4% from beyond the arc and 79.6% from the free throw line off the bench.

He finished the season ranked in the top 20 all-time at Kentucky among freshmen in four statistical categories: fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (44.9), eighth in made 3s (64), 12th in assists (124) and 17th in points scored (486).

Dillingham posted eight games of 20 or more points, highlighted by a career-high 35 points on 14 of 20 shooting and 6 of 8 three-pointers in a January loss to No. 5 Tennessee. Dillingham also finished with 27 points and 7 assists in a loss to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament.

Coming out of Overtime Elite in Atlanta, the one-time NC State commit was ranked as the No. 16 overall prospect and No. 3 point guard in the 2023 class according to the industry average 247Sports Composite

Green’s belief that teams will regret passing on Dillingham stems from several factors. First, Dillingham’s skill set is tailor-made for the modern NBA, which places a premium on guards who can score, create for others, and play at a high tempo. Dillingham’s ability to break down defenses with his dribbling and his vision for finding open teammates make him a dual threat on the offensive end.

One of Dillingham’s standout attributes is his scoring prowess. He has an innate ability to get to the basket, coupled with a smooth shooting stroke that extends beyond the three-point line. This combination makes him a difficult player to guard, as defenders must respect both his drive and his shot. Dillingham’s scoring ability is reminiscent of some of the league’s top guards, making him a valuable asset in any offensive scheme.

Dillingham’s ball-handling skills are exceptional, allowing him to navigate through defenses and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. His quickness and agility enable him to change direction swiftly, leaving defenders off balance. Additionally, his playmaking ability is noteworthy. Dillingham has shown a keen sense of when to score and when to distribute the ball, demonstrating maturity and basketball IQ beyond his years.

Another aspect of Dillingham’s game that stands out is his performance in clutch situations. He has consistently shown the ability to rise to the occasion, making critical plays under pressure. This quality is invaluable in the NBA, where games often come down to the final minutes and the ability to perform under stress can separate good players from great ones.

One reason teams may regret passing on Dillingham is his potential for immediate impact. Unlike some rookies who require a significant adjustment period, Dillingham’s skills are polished enough to contribute right away. His scoring ability and playmaking skills can fill gaps for many teams looking for a dynamic guard.

Dillingham’s long-term potential also makes him a tantalizing prospect. His combination of skills, basketball IQ, and clutch performance suggests that he has the tools to develop into an elite guard in the league. Teams that passed on him may find themselves watching him evolve into a star, regretting that they didn’t take the chance when they had the opportunity.

In today’s NBA, guards who can score, create, and defend are in high demand. Dillingham’s game fits perfectly with the current trends of the league, making him a valuable player in the evolving landscape of professional basketball. Teams that overlooked his potential may find themselves lacking the kind of dynamic playmaker that Dillingham embodies.

Draymond Green’s prediction that teams will regret passing on Rob Dillingham carries weight because of Green’s own credibility and understanding of the game. His statement serves as both a validation of Dillingham’s potential and a challenge to the teams that overlooked him. It suggests that those teams may have underestimated Dillingham’s ability to transition to the NBA and make an immediate impact.

Draymond Green’s assertion that teams will regret passing on rookie guard Rob Dillingham is rooted in a deep understanding of the game and a recognition of Dillingham’s unique talents. Dillingham’s scoring ability, ball-handling skills, playmaking, and clutch performance make him an exceptional prospect. As he begins his NBA career, the teams that passed on him may indeed find themselves second-guessing their decisions, especially if Dillingham fulfills the potential that Green and others see in him. In the fast-paced, competitive world of the NBA, missing out on a player of Dillingham’s caliber can be a costly mistake, one that could resonate for years to come.

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