Josh Green is Jason Kidd’s latest developmental success story

The Dallas Mavericks selected Josh Green as the 18th overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft. Green got off to an incredibly rocky start, only making four three-pointers in his entire rookie season. Meanwhile, Desmond Bane, who was later selected in the same draft, made 117 three-pointers in his rookie season.

Jason Kidd was hired by Green prior to Season 2. This presented a great opportunity for Green as Kidd has historically been much more open to playing young players than former coach Rick Carlisle. Green and Kidd’s first season together was a mild success for Green and a resounding success for the team. The team won a playoff series for the first time since 2011 and reached the Western Conference Finals.

Green was effective enough in the regular season but became unplayable in the playoffs. During the regular season, he increased his three-point percentage to 35.9 percent but still only made 28 total threes. In the playoffs, his shooting fell off a cliff. He was 5-to-22 from three while teams completely ignored him.

Teams that ignored him neutered his playmaking skills, which are perhaps his greatest offensive talent. With no one approaching him, he was unable to attack a muddled defense and find another teammate for a better shot. The goal for Green during the offseason was clear: to become both a willing and a more capable shooter.

Green understood the task. He has already made 62 three-pointers this season despite a lack of time with injuries. His three-point attempt rate per 100 possessions has more than doubled since his rookie season. He has up to 5.7 three-point attempts per 100 possessions, having only taken 2.8 as a rookie. He’s also doing over 40 percent of his threes for the first time in his career.

His shooting opened up lanes that he took advantage of. His success has only improved recently. In his last five games, Green has averaged 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. There’s a temptation to discount those numbers because of the time missed by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. However, this is a mistake. The time that Doncic and Irving missed made Green Moonlight a true offensive engine, rather than a secondary scorer attacking a muddled defense.

This success bodes incredibly well for the future of the Mavericks. Green is such an important figure for the Mavericks because of his ability to really contribute on both sides of the ball. The Mavericks have too many players who are either offensive or defensive weapons. Green’s improvement on offense means he can truly be a two-way player as he’s more than just a ground spacer offensively.

Kidd has received quite a bit of criticism for his rotations, psychological warfare with his players, and the use of time outs at every location he has trained. But he has also shown an undeniable flair for developing young players. Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most outrageous talents in NBA history, but Kidd was important to his development. Green has nothing that comes close to that talent. But Kidd also helped other players like Khris Middleton develop. Kidd even made Thon Maker useful for a while.

One of the positive possibilities of hiring Kidd was the possibility that he would help Green grow into the player the Mavericks envisioned when they drafted Green. This selection was particularly important for the Mavericks as the selections in the Kristaps Porzingis and Doncic trades were traded away. This hasn’t been a particularly successful season so far, but it has indeed put the Mavericks closer to sustained success going forward. The acquisition of Irving certainly has the biggest impact on the future potential of the Mavericks. But Green’s development was an undeniable bright spot, and Kidd deserves credit for making that possible.

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