But at 6-foot-3, Green is small by NBA shooting guard specs, which prompted questions about his draft stock Thursday night. Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly wasn't among the doubters and orchestrated a trade with the Utah Jazz that sent Green to Denver with the 46th overall pick, midway through the second round.
"I think the idea of a pure point guard is kind of a dying theme in our league," Connelly said in a video posted on the Nuggets' website. "His scoring is what sticks out, and I think we have to embrace that part of his game. He's certainly not a traditional point guard, but I think he's able to play both positions."
Green led Division I in scoring at 25.0 points per game, the ACC's first national scoring leader since South Carolina's Grady Wallace in 1957. Despite Tech's 13-19 record, media voted Green the conference's player of the year, and he's the lowest-drafted winner of that award since Wake Forest's Charlie Davis went in the eighth round in 1971.
Moreover, Green is the first ACC player of the year not selected in the first round since Duke's Chris Carrawell went 41st in 2000.
To my eye, Green has the character and skills — he can create shots for himself with or without the ball — to make teams regret bypassing him.
"He's one of the players that I think is a sleeper in this draft, one of those ones where we're going to look back in a couple years and say how did that guy get into the second round," ESPN analyst Chad Ford said during a pre-draft teleconference.
But drafts are so random, with booms and busts you could never envision. To wit, anyone who had Damian Lillard out of Weber State becoming 2013's NBA rookie of the year, raise your hand.
"I had heard late-first, early-second, and he slipped to mid-second, but you know how the draft is." Tech coach James Johnson said.
"Thanks for all the love and support," Green tweeted to his more than 10,000 followers. "Happy to be a Denver Nugget."
Green was among the last wave of 21 players the Nuggets worked out prior to the draft, auditioning on June 19 in Denver. The Nuggets won a franchise-record 57 games during the regular season, but after a first-round playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors, the team's management fractured.
General manager Masai Ujiri, voted the NBA's executive of the year, resigned to become the Toronto Raptors' GM, and veteran George Karl, the NBA coach of the year, exited over a contract dispute. Enter Connelly, an assistant GM in New Orleans, and coach Brian Shaw, a long-time assistant, most recently with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Connelly said he and Nuggets scouts "were not enamored with anybody in the first round," leading Denver to trade out of the opening round. The Utah Jazz chose Green at 46 and shipped him to the Nuggets for cash and 7-foot-2 center Rudy Gobert from France.
"We had him much higher (than 46th)," Connelly said of Green.
Despite drawing swarms of defenders, Green scored efficiently last season at Tech, shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 38.9 from beyond the 3-point arc. Denver ranked 25th among 30 NBA teams last season in 3-point accuracy at 34.3 percent.
"We had a clear deficiency last year in shooting," Connelly told the Associated Press. "He certainly checks that box."
How Green fits into Denver's backcourt is unclear.
Incumbent point guard Ty Lawson, the 2009 ACC player of the year at North Carolina, averaged a team-high 16.7 points last season, and 37-year-old backup Andre Miller's contract guarantees him $5 million next season and $2 million in 2014-15. Shooting guard/small forward Andre Iguodala becomes an unrestricted free agent Monday, but the Nuggets want to re-sign him.
Denver led the NBA in scoring last season at 106.1 points per game, a seemingly natural fit for Green.
"He's a scorer, he's a natural scorer," Connelly said. "He brings kind of a dynamic attribute to the backcourt that's rare to see."