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July 16, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
Donte Greene declared for the NBA Draft after just one year at Syracuse and was selected 28th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. He was then traded along with a 2009 2nd round pick to the Rockets for Darrell Arthur.
Greene was drafted largely on potential: he is 6-foot-9 and can shoot from distance. He averaged 17.7 PPG and 7.2 rebounds last season, and set a Syracuse freshman record with 90 three-pointers made.
Greene ended up signing a contract with the Rockets just five minutes before his first summer league game, where he dropped 40 points against the Phoenix Suns.
But Rockets fans shouldn't get too excited over Greene's debut. Although he hit a record 90 three-pointers as part of the Orange, he took 261 of them. He was a high volume shooter that doesn't play defense and avoids physical contact. At 6-foot-9 he should be a much better rebounder and be able to take it in the post.
After his 40 point outburst Greene said:
Once I got to 36, Phoenix started keying in on me a lot more, so I started to look for my teammates to get them going. I got Aaron (Brooks) going, and Maarty (Leunen), and Mike Harris and we got the win.
Greene names three different players he got going...Greene finished with three assists. Remember when I told you Greene was 6'9? He finished with just three rebounds. Yeah, I'm a little angry Greene left Syracuse (my alma mater) after just one year, but I still hope for him to succeed in the NBA.
But, despite his great debut, he has a lot of work ahead of him.