Draymond Green is a puzzle. Perfect in the system Steve Kerr at the Golden State Warriors, one often wonders what he would be able to do elsewhere. What is its real value? He believes he deserves a maximum contract and would be ready to leave if his team refuses to grant it to him.
Indeed, Green is reportedly expecting a four-year max extension of $138.4 million from Golden State, according to The Athletic. He will be eligible for it in a week, from August 3, and thinks he is up to the amount.
A pillar of defense and a vocal leader for the Warriors, the inside has played crucial in their four titles in eight years. Its impact is undeniable. He now hopes for a reward for having built a real dynasty alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Draymond Green has a $27.5 million player option for the 2023-2024 season. He may choose to decline it to become a free agent next summer. An extension according to his terms would ultimately represent only $ 3.4 million more than the salary he should receive if he takes his option. A very impressive amount on a human scale, but that the Warriors can certainly afford to spend in absolute terms.
Management, however, reportedly has no intention of offering Green the deal he is asking for. In any case, not this summer. The front office would not be willing to negotiate with him now and prefers to put it off until next year. A suspense that characterizes this organization well.
Bob Myers, the GM, has always worked this way. He usually waits until a player is in the last year of his contract to offer him an extension. But if he declines his option, the interested party will be able to test the market during the off-season and will be free to leave the Bay.
Green would rather stay with the franchise that drafted him in 2012, of course. Still, he would consider looking elsewhere if that’s what it takes to get the salary he thinks he’s worthy of. It’s a risk Golden State is seemingly willing to take, but one that confronts them with some tough questions.
Does Draymond Green deserve the maximum?
The “captain” of the Warriors is a one-of-a-kind player. He does not really have his equal in the league, which makes him particularly complex to gauge. A real mystery for analysts.
This season, he is averaging 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7 assists per game, shooting 52.5%. A rare production in the NBA. Few other players turn more than 7 units in each of these statistical categories. More precisely, they are exactly five: Dejounte Murray, James Harden, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook.
Once again, in this very closed circle, Draymond Green constitutes an anomaly. At first, he is the only one to score so little. But he is also the only one to have such a big impact in defense.
Defender of the year in 2017 and seven times All-Defensive Team, the interior has even made it its specialty. He’s been Golden State’s defensive anchor in each of its playoff-winning campaigns. He is also one of the main playmakers.
His added value is hardly reflected in his individual record and his statistics. What makes Green so valuable is above all his leadership and what he represents in the dressing room. In many ways, he seems almost indispensable to the Warriors.
On the other hand, what franchise would be willing to offer $30 million per season to a player who is one with his team’s system? Many doubts remain about its ability to reproduce the same thing in a different environment. Moreover, the strong winger will turn 37 in the last year of the contract he is asking for and the best of his career seems to be behind him already.
Less than 10 franchises should have enough cap space to make such an offer in 2023. As it happens, they are all in a reconstruction phase. It’s hard — if not impossible — to imagine the Pistons, Pacers or Rockets mortgaging their financial future for an athlete of that age.
With such a limited market, it seems unlikely that Draymond Green will be able to achieve his goal except in San Francisco. However, the ball would be in the Warriors’ court in this case. And without competition, they would have no reason to give in to the demands of the player. Unless it actually affects their chances of winning the title.
The Warriors will win 3 of the next 4 NBA titles, according to Draymond Green
The stakes of the negotiations between Green and the Warriors
Draymond Green is the voice of the Golden State dynasty. In the locker room, he remains the leader of men regardless of the number of stars he has to stand up to. On the field, he constantly places his teammates and takes over from the coach. It is he who is responsible for mobilizing the troops during stoppage time and he takes his role as mentor very seriously with the youngsters.
We can never repeat it enough: its impact is unique. In the current context, this characteristic has a positive connotation. But what will happen if Green is not in the right conditions to play this role?
If the fact that the Warriors refuse to grant him an extension rattles his mind, the consequences could prove particularly harmful. Deprived of his energy and determination, his strength could disappear.
The whole question will therefore be how he will manage the thing and how much it will affect the collective. On the one hand, his salary aspirations could push him to give the best of himself. On the other hand, an individualistic and unmotivated Draymond Green could transform the team negatively.
If he even goes so far as to leave San Francisco, it could quickly escalate. As you might expect, Stephen Curry would be unhappy to see his teammate leave, according to The Athletic. The Finals MVP is still under contract for four years and wants to keep Green and Thompson close to him.
Curry’s potential reaction is one of the main sources of concern for the front office. The Big Three are apparently inseparable in his eyes. The Warriors will certainly not want to risk contradicting their Franchise Player.
ExtensionsAndrew Wiggins and of Jordan Poole are, however, among the priorities of the franchise. Klay Thompson is also eligible for it, although that is currently taking a back seat. Green’s situation will likely depend on these other cases and vice versa.
Moreover, Golden State is already beginning to see beyond its veterans and its dynasty. Poole (22), James Wiseman (21), Moses Moody (20) and Jonathan Kuminga (19) embody the future. Sooner or later they will have to sign a new contract, too.
Blocking the finances for a player like Draymond Green will, of course, preserve the historic heart of the team. This would, however, decrease their chances of extending the younger ones if they progress optimally. The choice of the Warriors will thus have repercussions in the short and long term. The stakes are colossal.
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