When the Chicago Bulls announced their starting lineup for Tuesday night's preseason opener it was mostly what you would expect. New signings Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan were joined by last season's All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine. However, one name we didn't expect to see was Javonte Green.
And amidst the Bulls' 36-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Green's presence was a pleasant surprise. In just 17 minutes of action, Green stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and four blocks.
Along the way, he also posterized some random Finnish dude.
Where Did Javonte Green Come From?
On March 25, 2021, the Bulls made a flurry of moves at the NBA trade deadline. The two biggest names that the Bulls acquired were All-Star Nikola Vucevic and Boston Celtics starting center Daniel Theis. However, in the three-team trade that brought Theis to Chicago, the Bulls also acquired Javonte Green. In exchange, the Bulls sent seven-footer Luke Kornet to the Celtics. Yes, you're reading that right, we got this guy for Luke Kornet.
Javonte Green's NBA Journey
Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Javonte Green wasn't highly recruited as a high schooler. But he did receive one scholarship from a D1 school, Radford University. Javonte started in all four of his seasons at Radford, and put up career averages of 14 points and eight rebounds. Along the way, he set the Radford school record for games played, rebounds, and steals while finishing second in all-time in scoring.
Unfortunately, due to being a four-year player at a small school, Green went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. This wasn't enough to make him give up on his hoop dreams, however. After the draft, he signed a contract with Spanish third division side Marin Peixegalego. And in his rookie season, he averaged 15 points, five rebounds, and two steals on his way to the league's most valuable player award.
Javonte made a quick stop in the Italian second tier before finally getting a contract from a top European team in Germany's Ratiopharm Ulm. You see, the important thing about Ulm was that the team participated in the Euro Cup (it's one step below the Euro League, which is often referred to as the second-best basketball league in the world), a tournament where many of the best teams from all across Europe compete against each other. And during his time in the Euro Cup, the Boston Celtics caught wind of Javonte's play.
Javonte Green's NBA Tryout
Green was invited to play with the Boston Celtics' 2019 Summer League team. And he did well enough to earn himself a non-guaranteed contract, meaning if he did well in the preseason he was on the team. In the preseason, he averaged nine points and four rebounds in just 14 minutes a game, which was enough to earn him a spot on the Celtics regular-season roster.
In the season and a half that Javonte was a part of the Celtics roster, he appeared in 73 games and averaged 3.7 points and two rebounds.
Javonte Green's Strengths
If there is one word that describes Javonte Green, it's bounce. He's a high-flying dunker that's a threat to put opposing defenders on the wrong side of a poster every night.
However, what might be most valuable to the Bulls is how Javonte uses his bounce on the defensive end. And that showed up Tuesday night as he racked up four blocks in just 17 minutes of play.
In addition, Green added a pair of steals including the one below which he instantly turned into a fast break for the Bulls.
While he hasn't proven to be a reliable three-point shooter, that didn't stop him last night.
Sometimes in sports, there are guys you just want to cheer for. And Javonte Green is one of them. With both the Bulls' starting and backup power forwards sidelined with injuries, Javonte Green drew the start at the four. And he did not disappoint with 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and four blocks.
Despite being an afterthought in the Daniel Theis trade, Javonte Green might force his way into the Bulls' rotation this season. Despite being undersized for the power forward position, the man whose Twitter handle is @2xtremebounce used his extreme bounce to effectively block shots and dunk the ball.
After a four-year college career at Radford and three stops in Europe, Javonte Green looks to be forcing his way into the Chicago Bulls' rotation.