There’s a chance that Draymond Green has played his final game as a member of the Golden State Warriors. The 11-year veteran’s contract includes a player option this summer, which would allow him to opt out and test free agency.
It’s pretty tough to imagine Green wearing any uniform other than Golden State’s, but there’s been a few destinations floated out there as potential suitors for the four-time NBA champion.
The Athletic’s Danny Leroux published an article on June 1, listing off the top free agents this summer. When he got to Green, Leroux included the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs in a group of teams that may be interested in the veteran forward’s services.
“Teams looking for an identity on [the defensive] end could not dream of doing better, and even though Green may not have the full burst of his 20s, his intelligence, mobility and length should age reasonably well,” he wrote. “Think about how he would change the trajectory of a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets or even the San Antonio Spurs alongside Victor Wembanyama for a few seasons. It could be absolutely astonishing.”
Green’s played all 11 of his NBA seasons for the Warriors, winning four NBA championships along the way. He’s averaged 8.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.8 assists, during his 758 games for the Dubs. On top of his role within the team’s offense, Green sticks out most on the defensive end. He’s been named to eight All-Defensive teams, including this season’s second-team, and took home the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honors in the 2016-17 season.
Warriors Can’t Afford to Lose Draymond Green
Though Green’s future with the Dubs is a bit cloudy at the moment, the consensus belief is that the organization should prioritize retaining him.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley detailed the importance of keeping the 33-year-old around, calling him “one of one,” in a recent article that listed Golden State’s top priorities for the offseason.
“Talent-wise, he’s one of one,” Buckley wrote. “Has his impact been magnified by sharing the floor with historically elite shooters in [Stephen] Curry and [Klay] Thompson? No doubt. But this partnership is absolutely mutually beneficial. They’ve feasted on a ton of great looks created by Green’s passing, screening and high-level processing.”
Buckley is of the belief that Green would be nearly impossible for the Dubs to replace, if he was to walk out the door this summer.
“For all the talk over the years about whether Green could be the same player outside this system, there are just as many questions about whether this system could operate without him. Forget the financial challenges of trying to find his replacement, where do you even find another 6’6″, 230-pounder who can quarterback an offense and anchor a defense as both a paint protector and a perimeter-switcher?”
Steve Kerr Says Warriors Need Draymond Green to Compete for Championship
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr can join Buckley on the list of people who believe bringing Green back is extremely important.
Kerr explained that the Dubs aren’t championship contenders without the star forward, when prompted during his exit interview.
“Look, if Draymond is not back, we’re not a championship contender,” Kerr said. “We know that. He’s that important to winning and to who we are. I absolutely want him back. He’s a competitor. He’s an incredible defensive player.”