Who is Danny Green? The Spurs sharshooter had a career-worst shooting season in 2015–16, but remains one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders.
For four straight seasons, Danny Green was one of the NBA’s most reliable and cold-blooded three-point shooting specialists. And then it all came crashing down last year, as the Spurs’ not-so-sharpshooter hit just 33.2% of his threes, more than 7% below his career average and nearly nine points below his 2014–15 work. So many things are strange about this: Green didn’t change teams, his team didn’t change offensive systems, he didn’t change his role, he didn’t suffer a crippling injury or age-related decline and his shot location distribution was almost identical compared to the previous year. Strangest of all, his blatant shooting slump didn’t impact his team’s success all that much: the Spurs won 67 games, ranked third in offensive efficiency and posted a 111.1 offensive rating when he was on the court, bricks and all. These circumstances made it extraordinarily difficult to rank Green on this list. Is he a once-lethal, now-broken weapon, or is he poised to recover from his anomalous nightmare? This much is clearer: Green remains one of the NBA’s top perimeter guards, and his ability to defend either guard position is especially valuable and transferrable to various team contexts. (Last year: No. 50)
+ He ranked No. 1 in Defensive Real Plus Minus among shooting guards
+ Per NBA.com, his 3.5 deflections per game during the 2016 playoffs ranked No. 3 overall
– Per Synergy Sports, he fell from the 93rd percentile (1.19 points per possession) in spot-up shooting in 2014–15 to the 53rd percentile (0.95 points per possession) in 2015–16
– His 49.2 True Shooting % last season was the second-lowest mark among players who took 300 threes, topping only Kobe (46.9 TS%).