Would the Chicago Bulls give Draymond Green the type of monetary respect he’s seeking in his next contract? They have been reluctant to delve into the luxury tax with this current group. But ownership is on record as saying they would pay up for a true contender.
Is Green the type of player that would fit that would help get them over the hump and into contention with the upper-echelon teams in the Eastern Conference?
There are pros and cons to any player, and the Golden State Warriors forward is no exception.
But he does have a skill set that could be a better fit for the Bulls than most other options. Green’s intangibles are also on a different level than most players that boast his impressive resume which is not many.
See (Green in) Red
Green was a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate before back and hip injuries capped him at 46 games. He still earned his fourth All-Star nod while averaging 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. Green also averaged 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks.
He shot a career-high 52.6% from the floor and his best mark since 2018 from beyond the arc and 29.6%.
The three-point shooting is not a strength.
But Green brings so much else that he just needs to hit enough to keep a defense honest. And, even when they aren’t, he can make them pay with his IQ and playmaking ability. This is on top of the hard-nosed defense that allows him to guard both forward spots and small-ball center.
Chicago could offer a package that looks something like this to start.
- Draymond Green
- Nikola Vucevic
- 1st Rd Pick (POR)
This deal wouldn’t have to be the final move for the Warriors who would likely have little interest in the aging Vucevic or in giving Green away. They could move Vucevic in a separate deal or re-route him to another team in a three-team swap.
The Bulls could also flip other assets like Coby White to obtain more draft capital to send to the Warriors along with that lottery-protected pick from the Portland Trail Blazers.
It all becomes more complicated trying to manufacture commensurate value for Green.
The Bulls don’t have many assets to offer. But, perhaps, they can play on the relationship between Green and DeMar DeRozan to entice the former to request a trade to Chicago specifically.
While still not likely, a Green trade appears more on the table now than before.
In Search of Green-er Pastures
Green and the Warriors appear headed for a crossroads. The 10-year veteran and four-time champion is heading into the final guaranteed season of his four-year, $99.7 million deal signed ahead of the 2019-20 season.
He has a $27.6 million player option for the 2023-24 campaign. But Green is seeking a max contract, say The Athletic’s Anthony Slater and Marcus Thomson II.
“Green, according to sources, wants and believes he deserves a maximum contract extension from the Warriors…All indications, though, are that the Warriors have no plans to offer Green a maximum extension, and there isn’t any current traction on any type of extension.”
Slater and Thompson say that the Warriors generally wait until the final year to extend players. But what if Green, a Klutch Sportz client, does not want to wait? Injuries did cut the 32-year-old’s regular season short. Slater and Thompson said that he is prepared to explore his options.
Golden State is also facing a monstrous luxury tax bill that governor Joe Lacob has said is “not even remotely possible”.
That could see Green’s bluff called and the heart and soul of Golden State shipped off.
A True Warrior
The Bulls would eventually have to pay Green too. But he is exactly the kind of player that they need, writes Bolavip’s Ernesto Cova, who suggested Chicago as a potential trade destination for Green who is a Michigan native.
“When healthy, the Chicago Bulls were the best team in the Eastern Conference last season. And while DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine deserve a lot of credit for that, their defense is what made them stand out in the first half of the campaign…The Bulls will get Alex Caruso back, but Lonzo Ball is injury-prone, so trading for another defensive anchor would make sense. They need someone who can defend both forward spots, and Green could even be their small-ball center.”
Sporting News’ Scott Rafferty explained just why he could be worth ponying up the money for.
“Who Green defended on Golden State’s road to the 2022 title tells you everything you need to know about what makes him special. He went from guarding Nikola Jokic in the first round to Jaren Jackson Jr. in the second round to Jalen Brunson in the Conference Finals to Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III in the Finals…If that wasn’t enough, players shot 16.6 percentage points worse than expected in the 2022 NBA Playoffs when Green was protecting the rim.”
Bulls Need a Player Like Draymond Green
Green is the vocal leader of the Warriors on and off the floor. He can be heard barking out calls on defense and has not been above making calls to stars like Kevin Durant and even talking with DeRozan in a recruiting effort.
New Warriors forward JaMychal Green said, while Green did not recruit him, he did help seal him joining Golden State.
But he is not the leader on the floor that Green is, and it is arguable if the Bulls have that guy at all. It might not be a prerequisite. Four championships in eight years seem to suggest otherwise. But it certainly would not help this team to add the high IQ and toughness Green possesses.