Mar 14, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets shooting guard Gerald Green (14) drives to the basket against the Toronto Raptors at the Prudential Center. New Jersey Nets defeat the Toronto Raptors 98-84. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Gerald Green was a bit of a pariah in NBA circles prior to his call-up to the New Jersey Nets, toiling away in the NBA Development League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders while trying to prove he wasn't the same player that unceremoniously exited the league a few years ago as a player that seemed like he just didn't "get it."
Green's game changed over the past couple of years, however, and he was quite impressive as soon as he was inserted into Eric Musselman's starting lineup at the D-League Showcase in January. In 13 D-League starts, the all-world dunker averaged 23.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while making an incredible 48 percent of his shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Your's truly wrote in early February that Green deserved another chance, but the majority of the NBA scouts apparently still weren't convinced he'd changed. This despite seeing the change with their own eyes in Reno, something Jonathan Givony of Draft Express recently pointed out on Twitter.
Most wanted to pull the veil over their eyes, but it was pretty obvious at the D-League Showcase that Gerald Green is a clear-cut NBA player. Just goes to show you that you can't ever completely make your mind up & stop evaluating. Especially those known to be super talented. Only reason I'm reliving this is I distinctly remember asking numerous scouts if Green could get called up. All said emphatically: NO CHANCE.
Givony's analysis is spot on and Green's NBA success really should make talent evaluators think twice. Green was called up at the end of February and, in his past five games with New Jersey, Green is averaging 18.6 points and shooting 42 percent from 3-point land.
It'll be interesting to see if any of the players in the D-League currently posting impressive stats while previously being overlooked as NBA prospects -- Marcus Lewis, for one -- get call-ups after teams take notice of how well Green's done in New Jersey.