OAKLAND, CA – MARCH 01: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket in overtime against the Atlanta Hawks at ORACLE Arena on March 1, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had their hands full with the Golden State Warriors. While the Cavs have done a good job of limiting the Splash Brothers’ production, Draymond Green has been the triple-double threat that he usually is.

Back in 2012, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo called Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and advised him to take Green. That year, the Cavaliers had two second-round picks, No. 33 and No. 34. The Cavs took Bernard James and Jae Crowder, and traded those players to the Dallas Mavericks. Green would be picked at No. 35 by the Warriors.

From ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:

In 2012, Gilbert had said that the big lesson he learned from James’ departure in 2010 was to never let a player have that much leverage over his franchise again. But coming out of that meeting with James’ agents, Gilbert thought back to the call he’d gotten from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo at the end of the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. Izzo had told him, “You gotta take my guy.” The Cavs had two second-round picks, and Izzo was calling Gilbert, a Michigan State guy, to tell him that Draymond Green was the real deal. “I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat that we didn’t take him,” Gilbert says of Green, who torched the Cavs for 28 points in the Warriors’ 110-77 win in Game 2 of the Finals. “I didn’t listen to my gut.”

Now, Green might not have become quite the player he is today had he joined many other franchises. Part of what makes Green and the rest of the Warriors great is how they are a perfect blend.

It’s very easy to regret a draft pick; everybody’s done it (some worse than others). But this could end up being the second year in a row that the Cavs are bounced from the NBA Finals at the hands of a player that they passed up on with four total picks.


About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.