Like many NBA fans, I had never heard of Javonte Green before he was inserted in the starting lineup of the Chicago Bulls this year. Now, I am not only aware of him, but I am also a fan.
Green actually came to the Bulls in March of 2021 in a trade with the Boston Celtics. But it wasn’t until this season that he has made an impact. Why? Because this year the 6’4 shooting guard is the Bulls’ starting power forward.
You might ask yourself: how can a 6’4 player can make any kind of an impact at power forward? I think at the end of the day, nobody remembered to tell Green it would be impossible.
Green is a player with a lot of guts. Most power forwards are at least 6’9 and over 250 pounds. That means that most nights Green is giving up half a foot and over 50 pounds. Yet he’s in there getting rebounds, blocking shots, and throwing down terrifying dunks.
In addition to having guts, Green is a player with mad hops. As I said – he is a ferocious dunker. The kid can jump. It’s like he has springs for legs.
Green originally hails from Virginia, where he attended Brunswick High School playing under coach Bryant Smith. Smith played 10 seasons in the NBA as a shooting guard for the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Green led the Brunswick Bulldogs to the Virginia High School League Group AA Division 3 state championship. He was named first team All-State, as well as co-player of the year.
Green was offered two Division 1 scholarships coming out of high school. One scholarship was to play basketball a Radford University. The other offer was to play quarterback for the James Madison University football team. Green chose basketball.
In college, Green was a standout at Radford University. He was named First Team All-Big South in both his junior and senior seasons. He graduated holding the Radford records for rebounds, steals, and games played. He was second all-time in scoring.
After going undrafted, Green went overseas to keep his basketball dreams alive. He played in Spain, Italy, and Germany. In 2019 he accepted an invitation to play for the Boston Celtics Summer League team. After an outstanding performance in the Summer League, Green was rewarded with a two-year contract with the Celtics. Then on October 25, 2019, Green became the first former Radford player to appear in an NBA game.
After obtaining Green from Boston last year, the Bulls resigned Green for this season. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was part of a brilliant offseason that also included the acquisition of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and the Midrange Assassin himself, DeMar DeRozan. They also picked up the steal of the draft with Ayo Dosunmu.
Second-year player Patrick Williams was supposed to anchor the Bulls defense at power forward this season. When Williams got injured, requiring surgery to repair torn ligaments in his wrist, there wasn’t an heir apparent on the roster. So, coach Billy Donovan did something nobody expected. He put a 6’4 guard in the lineup as his starting power forward. And the results have been amazing.
Green has played beyond anyone’s expectations. What he lacks in height, he makes up for with speed, tenacity, and a high basketball IQ. He is a big part of the reason the Bulls are number one in the Eastern Conference.
With the recent signing of power forward Tristan Thompson and the anticipated early return of Williams, Green may not be seeing a lot of playing time at the four soon. Hopefully we’ll see him log minutes backing up Zack LaVine and Coby White at his natural shooting guard position or backing up DeRozan at small forward. He deserves playing time and I think Coach Donovan realizes good things happen with Green is on the floor.
The Bulls have all the pieces to make a serious run at the NBA Championship this year. Green has played a significant role in getting us to the dance. He has made Chicago proud.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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