Could JaMychal Green Be an Off-Season Option for Miami?

As we continue to dive into some of the “stretch fours” in this free agent class, JaMychal Green is next up on the list. I’ve already touched on Jeff Green, but if you want a deeper dive into 10 different low cost 4’s, make sure to listen to this episode of Five on the Floor, as the crew dives into a bunch of the guys that I will highlight here.

JaMychal Green is an interesting option, since it just isn’t as simple as many of the other guys out there. He still has a player option for this upcoming season, which leaves him with the power to basically choose what he wants to do. Would he rather stay in Denver with a team that just had a decent playoff run without their second best player, or is he looking to take a bigger role?

On the Heat’s side of things, there’s no doubt in my mind that Green is the safest option. Not only is he younger than a lot of the other guys, but he’s not an inconsistent or freelance type of player. When looking into his film, nothing really stands out from one game to the next. Why is that? Well, he plays his exact role every single game, leading to a copy and pasted stat-line on a night to night basis.

So, let’s look into some of his strengths and weaknesses, especially translating it to the Miami Heat’s current needs.

A Pure Stretch Big

For starters, the shooting from deep must be touched on, but let’s look into it a little farther than a fogged up three-point percentage. Seeing that he shot 40% this past season on a little over 3 attempts a game is impressive in itself, but that’s counting the unnecessary end of quarter heaves and things of that nature.

He’s not a pull-up threat, which relates to the numbers shooting 0.1 a game last season. With that said, all of his shooting comes on spot-up attempts, which he knocked down 42% of those shots in 58 games.

Most of the cheap options that can be paired up with Bam Adebayo are able to shoot the three ball, but none of them seem to have the size, defense, and extra years of age in the attribute department like Green. And his alternate offensive abilities to generate good looks from three puts it over the top, which I’ll discuss in detail down the line.

Defensive Physicality 

When Miami picked up Trevor Ariza last year, they got a guy that could play the 3 and D role. On the defensive end, he plugged a bunch of the point of attack issues due to his ability to defend guards on the perimeter so well with his length and quickness.

The year before that, they had a guy in Jae Crowder who was more of that physical presence that can defend you on the block, and can be utilized to scheme a defensive wall against Giannis Antetokounmpo. In some ways, the Ariza acquisition proved that if you go the small ball 4 route on a team that lacks size, it preferably should be a guy that can defend up instead of defend down.

Green has proven over time to be a pretty physical defender on the block, while being capable of guarding the perimeter at times. That exact description is the defensive four the Heat need in my opinion, since allowing Adebayo to be the sole perimeter big takes pressure off of him, knowing Green will be on the help-side for the tag on the rolling big man.

The final part about his defensive skill-set compared to others is that he is very reliable. The reason for that is he doesn’t have too many lapses where you begin to see some inconsistency on that end, as we’ve seen with some guys in the past. If another veteran stretch big is inserted next to Adebayo, it must be one that they trust on that side of the floor, and Green feels like a guy they would trust.

An Inside Game

It feels like I can use the term “physicality” on every single section of this piece, since that is what Green brings. While comparing him to Ariza, although they may be the same height at 6’8, Green has about 15 pounds on him. And frankly, Green takes pride inside the paint to utilize his size.

Going through some of the clips above, the first play shows him taking advantage of mismatches, which is something Miami doesn’t do very well in general. In a motion offense with constant screening, match-up advantages will be created with that filler four, and Green’s size allows him to punish defenders as he did against Kevin Huerter and Soloman Hill above.

The only thing about those three clips is that there’s a consistent theme that I feel is important to harp on once again: three different facilitating guards fed him the ball on the roll. The Heat just need one trusted point guard to not only drop down Adebayo and Jimmy Butler into number two and three on the play-making rank, but set up the role players so the stars can be off-ball threats.

All of this becomes much more fluid in that scenario, and in this situation that Miami’s picking up a cheap four, it would most likely mean that they signed one of the veteran point guards that they have their eyes on. There are many 3 and D power forwards on the market this off-season, but a guy that can fill up the interior as well is a unique option.

A Two-Level Scorer?

To focus on the opposite side of his game, I wanted to point out an offensive struggle, or better yet, an offensive inability. A two-level scorer may be his label with some issues in the mid-range, but that may be the one shot on the floor that Miami doesn’t need with the current roster.

As much hope as there is out there that an Adebayo three-ball is on the way, I just don’t expect it in the short-term. I’m much more on board with expanding the mid-range spots, which already made a huge leap up to this point. And with him occupying the mid-range spot while sprinkling in a bunch of actions as a rolling threat, the two levels that Green seems to thrive in is all he needs.

Aside from that, it’s not just that he’s pretty inconsistent from that spot, but he just doesn’t take a bunch of those shots. They’re going to switch some things up regarding which cheap four they pick-up, since Jeff Green seems to be an elbow threat in the offense with some threes mixed in, while JaMychal Green would be an inside threat with triples mixed in.

The similarities is that both are much more consistent “two-level” scorers, but JaMychal Green’s strong suited areas may fit a bit more with what the Heat are trying to do with the roster.

DHO’s into Pick and Pops

To expand on some of the offensive stuff, this is a base role that I can see Green playing. To reiterate, the dribble hand-offs seem to be getting a bad rep after Adebayo’s over-usage in certain moments, but there’s no way that will be abandoned.

The way that it can be tweaked a bit is if Adebayo isn’t always the one running the DHO, leaving that plugged in four with that role. Green is more than capable of doing that as seen above, but that clip shows why it changes the offense.

For one, Adebayo setting up off the ball on the baseline, on the elbow, or in the dunker spot gives them diversity, and allows him to expand as a scorer. The other part of it is that they can mix in the pick and pop following that hand-off, leading to good looks from three with the right ball-handler in the action.

This also maximizes half-court spacing, which looked a bit jumbled up at times last season, especially in the post-season. Forcing defenses into rotation scrambles while stretching out the offense is the perfect combination to fix the half-court issues.

This may be a base set to run, but simplicity is all the Heat need from that role player at the four. And as I said before, Green is the perfect definition of a “role” player with his ability to not stray off in the offense.

A Rebounding Presence

To finish it all off, let’s focus on a happy medium between Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, since that’s essentially what this is. The obvious goal would be to find a long-term front-court fit for Adebayo, but that just doesn’t seem possible with what is out there at the moment.

This leaves them debating cheaper options, discussing back and forth if a true big should shift Adebayo to the 4, or keep it going with the small ball fours. It doesn’t seem likely that Riley doesn’t add a rebounder this off-season, but would Coach Spo keep that “rebounder” on the floor at the end of games?

This exact dilemma results in a perfect solution: JaMychal Green.

As highlighted earlier, he plays much bigger than he is. He loves camping out in the dunker spot not only to score with a dump-off pass, but to perfectly time the rebound and crash the boards. A stretch four who can rebound is exactly how Riley and Spo can meet in the middle for this type of acquisition.

Toughness, versatility, shooting. The adjectives of his play-style translate perfectly to a Miami Heat player, which gives me a feeling that it will be somebody the Heat keep their eye on for quite some time.


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