Donovan says 6-4 Green will remain a power forward

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls guard Javonte Green, right, drives as New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham guards during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

    Chicago Bulls guard Javonte Green, right, drives as New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham guards during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

 
 
Updated 10/14/2021 8:40 PM

With Patrick Williams coming back from an ankle injury, it would seem logical for his preseason replacement Javonte Green to move back to guard.

But Bulls coach Billy Donovan suggested Thursday the 6-foot-4 Green is right where he belongs.

 

"I think he's got to be a four, that's just my feeling for right now," Donovan said. "That's not to say he couldn't play the wing position. But I think the four allows him to get his flexibility in defensively.

"Sometimes that small forward position can get a little bit logjammed with players, but I think where he's been able to carve out a good niche for this team has been at the four."

The Bulls' regular-season rotation will be interesting, because Green has played well as the starting power forward in three exhibition games. It will be tough for Donovan to find minutes for Green, Alize Johnson, Troy Brown Jr., Derrick Jones Jr., and backup center Tony Bradley.

"I'm here to do whatever we need to get done to win games," Green said. "I'm all about challenges. On this team, we play positionless basketball. I feel like everybody can fill that role, not just myself."

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Plenty of NBA players took long, circuitous routes to reach the league, but Green probably had more ground to make up than most.

Coming out of high school in Southern Virginia, Green had two choices -- play basketball at Radford or football at James Madison. He was an all-state basketball player and run-heavy quarterback at Brunswick High School. His basketball coach was former NBA guard Bryant Stith.

"I definitely ran it 90% of the time for sure, but I could throw it a little bit," he said of his QB days. "We had some great athletes where I'm from. We did positionless stuff. Sometimes I'd be wide receiver, sometimes I'd be quarterback."

Green said it was a tough choice, but Radford offered a full ride and JMU only a partial scholarship. So he chose basketball at Radford.

Four years later, Green began his professional basketball career in Spain. Not for Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, but Marín Peixegalego in the Spanish third division. NBA dreams were certainly faded and blurry from the west coast of Spain.

But Green went from there to two years in Italy's second division to a top-level team in Germany to sticking with the Boston Celtics for the 2019-20 season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I just stayed hungry. Just tried to perfect my craft. Tried to be a better player, better person as well," Green said.

"I had a great support system. They took care of me every country I was in. I had a bunch of great Americans on the team who showed me the way, showed me how to get through the loneliness, missing your family and stuff like that."

Green joined the Bulls as sort of a throw-in last year when they moved Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison to Washington and Luke Kornet to Boston.

The Bulls discovered Green runs with a high motor on and off the court. He also may have the versatility to become the type of multi-role player they need.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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