Warriors Star Open to Teaming Up With LeBron James, Lakers

LeBron James

Getty images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Draymond Green’s future with the Golden State Warriors is uncertain and there’s a belief that the former Defensive Player of the Year would be open to joining LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers if he becomes a free agent.

The idea of Green leaving Golden State to sign with the Lakers came via ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Thursday’s episode of” NBA Countdown,” who was adamant that the polarizing veteran forward would be open to the move.

“Opt out, take a two-year deal. Go to the Lakers and join LeBron. He wouldn’t be averse to that,” Smith said. “Trust me. Trust me.”

Green’s situation with the Warriors is complicated, with much of the dilemma stemming from a record luxury tax bill for Golden State. He is still a defensive force but is 32 years old, an offensive liability and looking for a max extension, which might be more than what the Warriors — or the Lakers for that matter — are willing to fork up.

Green has a player option worth $27.5 million after this season and can enter free agency in the summer if he chooses to. While Green has a strong linkage to Golden State — where he has played all of his career and has been a core piece of four championships — he’s not optimistic a deal will get done.

“I don’t think it will happen, and so for me, I’m just focused on this season and being as great as I can be and as I know I’m capable of being and winning another championship and reaching my individual goals that I have as well. I think that’s my main focus,” Green said.

Green Has Been Vocal Supporter of LeBron James

Stephen A. calls Draymond Green's Warriors relationship SHAKY after altercation 😬 | NBA CountdownNBA Countdown's Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Mike Greenberg and Jalen Rose discuss Draymond Green's value to the Golden State Warriors following an altercation with teammate Jordan Poole at practice on Wednesday. ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on…2022-10-07T00:06:37Z

Green and James share an agency in Klutch, which Green joined in 2019. While they’ve had their battles in the Finals, to duo built a relationship away from the court. Green has been a guest on James’ HBO show “The Shop” and has been seen with him at various events.

During the Warriors’ most recent title run, Green talked about facing James and said that facing the Celtics really didn’t stack up to the challenge he battled previously.

“Well it doesn’t compare to, like, mentally playing against LeBron James, who I think is arguably the smartest guy to ever play this game,” Green said in June. “Not ‘one of,’ he’s arguably the smartest guy to step foot on a basketball court. So to say that it compares to that, it’s disrespectful to LeBron and it’s a lie to you.”

James was also one of Green’s first calls after hoisting his fourth Larry O’Brien Trophy.

“I was on the phone with ‘Bron the other day, and I’m just telling him like ‘Bruh, going from three to four is insane,’ and he was like ‘Yo, I’m telling you, like, it’s crazy,’ ” Green said on his podcast.

Green Dealing With Fallout From Fight With Teammate

Warriors Talk | Bob Myers on Training Camp – Oct. 6, 2022Bob Myers met with the media to discuss the Golden State Warriors 2022 Training Camp.2022-10-06T23:17:14Z

Green has been caught up in some drama with the Warriors prior to the start of the season after throwing a punch at teammate Jordan Poole during practice. Green is expected to be disciplined for his actions but likely won’t miss any time on the court.

“These things happen. Nobody likes it, we don’t condone it, but it happens,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Thursday. “Draymond apologized to the team. Jordan was there in the room. … As far as any suspension, punishment, fine, we will handle that internally.”

Green has been the emotional leader of the Warriors during their reign but has crossed the line on multiple occasions. The dust-up with Poole was one of those times and becomes especially polarizing considering each player’s future in focus. Green wants his money, banking on his past success, while Poole is expected to sign a lucrative extension and represents the future of the franchise.

“He will tell you he has been over that line but he always comes back,” Myers said. “Nobody is saying they don’t want him around … but [Wednesday] was not a good moment. … I don’t think he likes putting himself in these spots. He is in one, but I think he’ll find a way to earn the respect of his teammates and Jordan back.”

Coincidentally, the Warriors and Lakers face off Sunday in a preseason tilt.

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