Draymond Green saw his wishes come true on NBA draft night.
The Golden State Warriors big man was half a world away from the draft, but managed to send a message to the team’s front office about the direction for the future and his preferred picks for new teammates. The Warriors were able to follow through on both of his suggestions, though some insiders believe there’s a chance at least one will never take the court with Green.
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Green Shared Insight
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he stayed in close contact with Green on draft night, even though it was very early in the morning in Tokyo where Green and Team USA are competing in the Olympics. Green shared his thoughts on who the Warriors should take with their pair of lottery picks, the No. 7 that came from the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the D’Angelo Russell trade and the No. 14 the Warriors snagged after a second consecutive season falling short of the playoffs.
As Myers later told reporters, he and Green were on the same page for both picks.
“Draymond, I talked to at 4 in the morning in Tokyo, at 5 in the morning, 6 in the morning,” Myers said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “While we were picking, he texted me after the third or fourth pick, and he said ‘Kuminga.’ And I said ‘We’ll see if he’s there.’ So he’s happy. And then at about the ninth pick, he said ‘Moody.’ And I said ‘I don’t think he’s going to be there.’ And I didn’t even give him those names. So, he gave me a big thumbs up. That’s good. I’m glad he’s supportive and appreciate that.”
Green and some of the team’s other veterans had initially delivered a very different message. The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II reported last week that Green, along with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, told the front office that they should consider trading both lottery picks if it meant grabbing a star player like Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. By draft night, it appeared that any blockbuster trade was out of Golden State’s grasp — Beal had reportedly made a commitment to remain with the Warriors, and the Philadelphia 76ers had a high asking price for Ben Simmons that Golden State was unwilling to meet.
Green’s Wish May Not Come True
While Myers was able to follow through on the early morning suggestions from Green, some insiders believe that the team may not be holding onto its top pick for too long. CBS Sports writer Colin Ward-Henninger had predicted that the Warriors would take Kuminga with their first pick, slating in the G-League player in his final mock draft. But Ward-Henninger saw Kuminga more as potential trade bait than a long-term fixture on the Warriors roster, noting that he could be very attractive to another team as Golden State looks to add a more established player.
That doesn’t appear to be in the cards just yet. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau reported that the team has no immediate plans to trade Kuminga, though wrote that their stance could change.
“That could change if an All-Star-caliber player becomes available. Should a team decide to unload one of its centerpieces and go all-in on a rebuild, Kuminga could be an intriguing player to build around,” he wrote.