In the NBA, guards are small and big men are big. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Though that’s a general rule for the various positions, every now and then someone comes along and completely shakes up the mold. Draymond Green is one such player.
How tall is Draymond Green? He is only 6’6 (198 cm) in height, but his wingspan is 7’1 (216 cm).
The Warriors power forward is one of the best at his position. He’s also extremely undersized compared to his opponents. The following article will break down the different ways he overcomes that discrepancy, and how he turned his smaller frame into an advantage.
What’s In a Number?
Everyone who knows basketball understands that power forwards tend to be quite big. Though they don’t commonly have the height of centers, the big men do come with a ton of strength and power in a robust, sturdy frame. They are dense, and can pack a punch.
Currently, the average NBA power forward stands 6’10. That’s extremely tall, but it’s a few inches down from previous seasons. Looking at that average shows why Green’s success is so surprising. He managed to thrive in the NBA despite only being 6’6.
Despite that smaller height, Green has long been one of the premier power forwards in the league. Part of that is his athleticism and reach, but the biggest reason he’s been able to succeed down on the block for so long is his basketball IQ.
Green is not the best scorer, passer, or rebounder. Even so, he’s an incredibly smart player who always knows where to be. He spaces the floor extremely well, knows how to run an offense, and understands the inner workings of different teams.
That combination worked perfectly for the Warriors. As Green is on the smaller side, he was able to run the floor much more effectively than bigger forwards. On top of that, his ability to space complemented the lights-out shooting of both Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
The Warriors offense completely changed the NBA, and Draymond’s ability to make the right play at the right time was a big part of it. He didn’t need height for that.
A Long, Long Wingspan
The other reason Draymond has been so great at the power forward position is his reach. He’s often the smaller player in any given matchup, especially when going up against centers. Despite that, he’s one of the best defenders to ever play the game.
Part of that comes from his IQ, knowing how and when to play against an offense, but part of it is his incredibly impressive 7’1 wingspan. In the NBA, the general rule is that a player wants their arms to be quite a bit longer than their height.
Most athletes across the league have a reach that’s two or three inches longer than their body. A select few have one that measures four or five inches longer. Draymond’s wingspan is a staggering six inches, which puts him in a special class with very few other players.
That reach has helped overcome his height in a number of ways. Having long arms not only gives him the ability to better go up for rebounds, it allows him to contest shots, block layups, and easily bother bigger players. That allows him to play much taller than his height.
Draymond Green is not a typical power forward, but that’s what makes him so special. He’s always been undersized at the position, but his smaller frame and extended reach enable him to work the court in a way few other players can.
He’s one of the most intelligent athletes in the NBA. That informs his offense, and enables him to play defense at an extremely high level. He’s never been the biggest or the strongest, but, as with most great players, he’s found a way around that.