Steve Kerr Calls Out Draymond Green for ‘Compromising’ Warriors’ Season

Draymond Green

Draymond Green Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors speaks to Draymond Green.

The Golden State Warriors fielded essentially the same roster this year that won an NBA title last season, but this time around something was different.

Everyone was a year older, performance arcs changed for each player and injuries impacted the team in a different way than in 2021-22, but head coach Steve Kerr pinpointed a shift in the locker room dynamic as the key factor in Golden State’s failure to repeat as champions. Specifically, Kerr cited an erosion of trust between teammates stemming from the preseason incident in which veteran Draymond Green punched guard Jordan Poole in the face.

“[Green] knows that he had a great season this year from a basketball perspective, but he knows that he also compromised things by what happened back in October. So part of him coming back next year has to be about rebuilding some of that trust and respect that he’s earned here for a long period of time,” Kerr said at a press conference on Tuesday, May 16, per Twitter video from Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “One thing I love about Draymond is he’s always brutally honest, and he can take that sort of critique because he knows it’s the truth.”

Reporters pressed Kerr to elaborate on Green’s breach of trust and how it changed interpersonal dynamics on the Warriors’ roster.

“[Trust] was lost this year for sure. There’s no hiding from it. The incident with Draymond and Jordan at the beginning of the year played a role in that. It’s hard for that not to impact a team,” Kerr said. “We feel like we have a great group of people on the roster, on the coaching staff, in the front office. We have a way of doing things that we’re very proud of. But those things were definitely challenged this year. Any time some trust is lost, then it makes the process much more difficult. And there was some trust lost, and that’s as blunt as I can be.”

Steve Kerr Says Warriors Want Draymond Green Back Next Season

Draymond Green Steve Kerr

GettyDraymond Green (left) and head coach Steve Kerr (right) of the Golden State Warriors react after referees eject Green from a game against the San Antonio Spurs in March 2022.

As critical as Kerr was of Green on Tuesday, he was equally blunt about how important the fiery superstar is to Golden State’s success.

“If Draymond’s not back, we’re not a championship contender. We know that. He’s that important to winning and to who we are. So I absolutely want him back,” Kerr said. “He’s a competitor, he’s an incredible defensive player, we can check all those boxes. And he and I have built a really special relationship that has run the gamut over the years. We’ve had our share of run-ins, but we’ve been through so much, we really care about each other and work together well.”

“I want him back,” Kerr reiterated. “I think we all want him back, and hopefully that’s exactly what happens and we get ready to make another run next year.”

Draymond Green Will Decide Whether to Play in Golden State Next Year

Draymond Green and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyDraymond Green (left) and Steph Curry (right) of the Golden State Warriors.

Though the situation is never this cut and dry, it is fair to say that Green’s immediate future with the Warriors rests in his own hands.

The forward has a player option on the fourth and final year of his $99.7 million contract, which pays him $27.6 million in 2023-24. However, Green has been vocal about his desire for a long-term contract extension and will have multiple suitors if he opts out of his deal and hits free agency this summer.

Green turned 33 in March and carries 11 seasons on his resumé. While his offensive production has dropped off to the point that Green is sometimes a liability on that side of the court, he remains a brilliant facilitator and defender. Last week, Green earned Second-Team All-NBA Defensive Honors for the 2022-23 season. He has been named a first-teamer four times and a second-teamer thrice over the course of his career, per

The chemistry between Green and Steph Curry is also an element of the equation the Warriors must consider when they decide whether to pay Green long-term. Should the franchise choose to do so, Poole is more likely to find himself on the trade block in the coming months.

Poole signed a four-year extension worth $128 million last offseason, which kicks in next fall. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson is extension eligible and looking for a long-term deal of his own. Despite a sputtering end to this year’s playoffs, the Warriors are likely to re-sign Thompson, though probably at a discount of some sort.

Golden State is looking at a payroll/luxury tax bill north of $400 million in 2023-24 if the team retains every player on the roster at his scheduled salary cap number. It remains unclear whether the Warriors’ ownership group is willing to pay that kind of money, or is more interested in taking a step back talent-wise in order to avoid it.

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