Draymond Green may well be making himself a fortune on his next contract during this dominant playoff run of his, giving us a chance to look at when he’ll become a free agent, as well as what the future may hold for the Warriors forward.
After struggling through his worst statistical regular season since he was a sophomore, the 6’7″ power forward/center has been a man possessed in the postseason. He credits the turnaround to losing 23 pounds following the All-Star Game, and he’s looked like a completely different player since, averaging 12.3 points and 8 rebounds per game while shooting .507 from the field.
All this after putting up just 7.4 points per game during the course of the regular season, about half of what he posted in his best campaign of 2015-2016.
Green’s turnaround couldn’t come at a better time as he nears free agency and a rich new contract. But will that be with the Warriors or another team?
Power Forward Sets up For Power Moves This Summer
Green’s played an integral part in the Warriors dynasty, keeping things clean on the defensive side while his superstar teammates rack up offensive records.
But both the team and the player are nearing a contract crossroads. The 29-year old signed a five-year, $82 million deal in 2015, and that pact is up after one more season. According to Sportrac, one year remains on the deal at $18.5 million — after that, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
“You understand that this is a very volatile business,” Green’s ex-agent B.J. Armstrong told The Pure Hoops Podcast at the time.” No doubt about it. Players are gonna change. Some are gonna change to you, some are gonna leave.”
What Armstrong didn’t say was the switch was a strong indication that Green was gearing up for a contract renegotiation this summer. And this week, ESPN confirmed that he will indeed be sniffing around for a rich extension with the Warriors once their season is over.
Why Draymond Green Has All the Contract Leverage
As if his incredible playoff performance wasn’t already giving him a ton of leverage, team owner Joe Lacob went ahead and gave Green even more of it when he a told a reporter that he wants the big guy to “be here forever.”
One NBA analyst thinks that Green is as good as gone unless the Warriors are willing to hand him a max contract. In November, the team fined him $120,000 for an on-court altercation with teammate Kevin Durant, and Sam Amick, who covers the NBA for The Athletic, believes that he took it as a slight.
“The Warriors end up not only deciding to take a game paycheck away from Draymond, but to do publicly – they did not even attempt to do it privately,” Amick told the Reiter Than You Podcast. “They made it a very quasi-personal type of thing, and part of me thinks he’s not ever going to forget that. He was very upset at the time.”
Amick also points out that 2020’s free agent class features a weak crop of potential signees, giving Green even more motivation to go out and test the market if he can’t get what he wants from the Warriors.
“So even if there were no issues with your current team,” said Amick, “it would behoove you to get as much kind of juice in your corner as possible and take advantage of that market.”