The Golden State Warriors have done their best to navigate the drama stirred up by Draymond Green’s attack on teammate Jordan Poole, but one insider believes it may have put the team on a path where ditching the veteran big man becomes the only option.
The Warriors moved into damage-control mode after reports first emerged that Green punched Poole during a team practice last week, which intensified when a video was leaked showing the incident. Green made a public apology and stepped away from the team, but Hoops Hype’s Yossi Gozlan believes that the Warriors may be forced to consider shipping him out in a trade. If they choose to go that route, then the team they took down in the Western Conference Finals could be a potential partner, he wrote.
Green and Luke in Dallas
As Gozlan wrote, the first and most desirable choice for Golden State would be to repair the damaged relationships and move forward with the same core that just won an NBA title. Green publicly apologized to Poole, and the season’s imminent start could turn everyone’s attention back to their title defense.
But Poole’s stature with the team has been steadily growing, and his breakout season in 2021-22 has him in line for a significant contract extension. The team has until October 17 to make a decision, or else Poole would be headed to restricted free agency next offseason.
If the relationship between the two can’t be salvaged after the incident, the Warriors may need to make a commitment to Poole and look for a new home for Green.
“If Poole feels he cannot trust Green or the organization going forward, that might set a chain of events that could set the team back from contention,” Gozlan wrote. “With all that said, it feels like a good bet Poole will get extended before the season starts.”
Gozlan identified a number of potential trade partners for the Warriors if they were to consider moving Green, including the Dallas Mavericks. While the Warriors may be reluctant to help an ascending Dallas team continue to improve, a trade with the Mavericks could net the best possible return, he wrote.
“Dallas is a situation where Green could thrive,” Gozlan wrote. “Luka Doncic is one of the league’s best on-ball players that Green could possibly team up and could have a strong two-man game with. He would also elevate Dallas’ already strong defensive foundation. The Mavericks can trade up to two first-round picks, but it’s possible the Warriors would also require players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock to deepen their rotation.”
Green Facing Discipline From Warriors
After Golden State’s preseason win over the Portland Trail Blazers on October 11, head coach Steve Kerr revealed the team’s decision to discipline Green. Though initial reports hinted that he could face a suspension, Green’s self-imposed exile from his teammates was ultimately his only absence. Kerr said the team opted to issue Green a fine rather than a suspension.
Kerr said Poole was consulted about the decision, along with Steph Curry and other teammates. He stressed that Poole was focused on moving forward so the team can focus on the upcoming season, but stressed the seriousness of the situation.
“This is the biggest crisis that we’ve had since I’ve been the coach here,” Kerr said, via ESPN. “It’s really serious stuff. We’re not perfect. … But we’re going to lean on the experience that we have together and trust that this is the best decision for our team. We have a lot of work to do. All of us.”
It could take a significant shift to move the Warriors off their current trajectory and toward trading Green. One Western Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that Green is difficult to trade because of his upcoming contract extension and likely salary demands, as well as a unique skill set that would not be a universal fit.
“They’re not out there pushing to move him right now. Never say never, but it would be pretty shocking if they changed course on that,” the executive said.