The Golden State Warriors‘ seemingly idyllic existence descended into chaos this week when veteran baller Draymond Green took it upon himself to throw a punch at teammate Jordan Poole. Now, more than 48 hours after the incident occurred, its shockwaves are still being felt around the Association.
Some have opined that Green’s assault was prompted by an increasingly sour attitude from Poole, who’s on the verge of signing a monster deal. Others, including Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr, have refuted reports of Poole’s alleged big-timer turn.
Regardless of what it was that sent Green spiraling toward a place where physical violence was his go-to move, questions about the four-time All-Star’s future with the franchise suddenly abound.
For his part, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young joked via Twitter that Green was “tryna get to LA.” And others have wondered whether his future may just lie with LeBron James and Co., too.
With that in mind, here’s one deal that would see Green trading in his Warriors blue for the purple and gold of LeBron’s crew.
Proposed Trade Sends Draymond to the Lake Show
While there’s growing noise about Green making the drive down The Five to join the Lakers, the two teams aren’t actually the greatest trade partners given the numbers on his contract. So, in order to facilitate a move, we’re including the Utah Jazz — who are actively shopping their remaining vets — and pitching the following trade:
- Golden State Warriors receive G/F Malik Beasley, F Rudy Gay and a 2023 second-round pick (from LAL, via CHI)
- Los Angeles Lakers receive F Draymond Green, PG Mike Conley
- Utah Jazz receive PG Russell Westbrook, a 2026 first-round pick (from LAL) and a 2025 second-round pick (from GSW via CHA)
To be completely clear, this isn’t a move that’s likely to aid in the Dubs’ title quest this year. Before the incident, Green’s value in Golden State far exceeded what it would be for just about any other team. And punching his teammate definitely didn’t help him — or the Warriors — in that regard.
That said, getting a solid, young-ish player in Beasley and a low-risk/potentially high-reward vet in Gay (both of whom can contribute) and a draft asset is a decent return for a player like Green, whose salary is also slightly out of step with a skill set that’s diminishing.
Moreover, removing Green from the Warriors’ equation probably makes team president Bob Myers’ player-extension hell slightly less hellacious, as Green was said to be seeking another max payday from the club. It’s also worth noting that the Dubs save around $4 million in payroll — and millions more in tax — on the deal this season.
This much is certain: the other teams in the proposed pact would likely be more than happy to accomodate the Dubs given their respective returns.
What the Lakers & Jazz Get Out of It
For the Lakers, this deal is a big win. They get Westbrook off the roster while adding a pair of championship-caliber vets to team up with LeBron and Anthony Davis, which could yield a seismic leap back into the title picture.
Make no mistake, the Lakers would be impossibly old (again) in 2022-23 and beyond. But if Green and Conley could keep themselves healthy and performing at their best level alongside LA’s stars, the Lake Show would be a legitimate title threat for the next few years.
As for the Jazz, stockpiling picks and losing games to aid in their pursuit of Victor Wembanyama are the order of the day. By dealing Conley, the team jettisons its last winning vet and any chance it had at exceeding expectations. Meanwhile, the value of an unprotected pick from the Lakers far outweighs any pain caused by paying Westbrook’s $47 million salary this season.