The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
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73) Danny Green

Former second-rounder Danny Green had a wild path towards carving out a long NBA career. After spending four years at North Carolina, Green was selected 46th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers but was cut multiple times before he found a role with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2011–12 season. Even still, he needed some luck for that to happen.

The Spurs were thin on guards after trading George Hill for Kawhi Leonard. Then Manu Ginobili got injured, and backup guard TJ Ford abruptly retired, all paving the way for Green to join the rotation. Nevertheless, he made the most of his opportunity. In 11–12, he started 38 games and shot a blistering 43.6% from three while providing outstanding defense. That helped the Spurs go 50-16 and reel off 20 straight wins during the regular season and postseason.

Green would play a total of eight seasons in San Antonio and emerge as one of the game's best perimeter defenders and sharpshooters. While Leonard got significantly more attention, Green was often tasked with defending the opposing team's best guards, and he did a terrific job thanks to his long arms and quick feet. 

He could even scale up and defend LeBron James and Kevin Durant, giving San Antonio two impressive defenders for the majority of the decade. With Green starting, they made the Western Conference Finals three straight times, consecutive NBA Finals, and won a championship in 2014.

Had the Spurs won in 2013, he may have won Finals MVP after draining a then NBA record 27 threes. Green was later traded along with Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, where he won his second championship to close out the decade.

On the whole, he logged 688 games in the 2010s and averaged 8.9 points while draining 40% of these threes; 1163 made threes in total while playing stout defense. While he doesn't have comparable stats to others on this list, his impact was arguably greater than most, ensuring his place here.