Credit: Mike Christy, Arizona Athletics
After Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion declared for the NBA draft in early April, it was only going to be a matter of time before Josh Green followed suit. Nnaji and Mannion, two of Green's teammates, are also freshmen at the University of Arizona. All three are potential first round picks, meaning the Aussie shooting guard is almost certainly destined for the NBA.
"Ever since I was a little kid in Australia, it's been a goal of mine to play in the NBA," outlined Green on social media in announcing his early declaration for the the NBA Draft.
"I'm proud to take a step closer to that dream. After careful consideration, I've made the decision to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft."
Green averaged 12.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game for the Arizona Wildcats in the 2019-20 season who finished with a 21-11 overall record and fifth place in the Pac-12.
Green's current draft stock is up for debate. ESPN's Jonathan Givony currently ranks the Arizona Wildcat 21st, while Sam Vecenie of the Athletic has him 33rd. Green has been projected as a lottery pick at times, and his final position may ultimately come down to team needs. The 19 year old is mostly viewed as an off-ball "3 and D" player, with his defensive exploits drawing plaudits throughout the 2019-20 collegiate season. He was named to The Pick and Roll's All-Australian First Team, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
Green's journey began in the western suburbs of Sydney, where he attended The King's School and played for the Penrith Basketball Association. At the age of just 13 he made the New South Wales under-16 state steam, as per the photo below (second from the right). Green's family later relocated to the United States in 2014, and he hasn't looked back. The explosive shooting guard was rated the 8th best player in his high school class by ESPN, and is now set to be Australia's newest NBA export.
According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, NBA teams are asking for the NBA draft, which was to be on 25 June, to be delayed to 1 August at least. This is to allow for more time for pre-draft evaluation, as the league has prohibited teams from conducting in-person workouts and/or interviews for now. Other restrictions include virtual interviews being limited to four hours total for a player, and not being able to request video from recent workouts outside of a team environment.