Warriors Owner Asked 1 Condition From Draymond Green After Signing New Deal

Warriors star forward Draymond Green

Getty Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob asked Draymond Green one particular condition after the veteran forward re-signed for a $100 million, four-year deal in the offseason, ESPN reported on March 18.

“Joe said, ‘I know you’re going to play and lead and all of that, but I need one more thing,'” Green told ESPN. “He said ‘I need you to take [Jonathan Kuminga] under your wing. I said, ‘You got my word …To me, that was a condition of the contract.”

Green, whose punch to a former member of the Warriors’ young core, Jordan Poole, strained their chemistry last season, is atoning for that mistake by mentoring Kuminga this season. The 34-year-old forward has exerted a concerted effort to connect with Kuminga, who is 13 years younger.

After all, Green was one of the most vocal supporters of Kuminga during the 2021 NBA Draft, according to the ESPN report.

Kuminga flew into Green’s radar when former Warriors guard Jarrett Jack, Kuminga’s teammate in the G League Ignite, told Green to keep an eye on the raw but athletically gifted young prospect.

“He is one of the reasons I even ended up here,” Kuminga told ESPN of Green. “Before they drafted me he called [former Warriors general manager] Bob [Myers] and told him to bring me here. I think that was one of the greatest things to have ever happened.”

‘No One Can Stop’ Jonathan Kuminga

After the 21-year-old Kuminga poured 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter during their 119-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 on January 30, which snapped a two-game skid at home, Green made a bold statement about him.

“The way he’s attacking the basket, I don’t think there’s anyone that can stop him from getting to his spot,” Green said of Kuminga. “So at times, I go at him a little bit about like you took the three and that’s fine, I don’t mind you taking a three but can somebody stop you from getting anywhere you want to go? Just challenging him and then also building trust. So, he knows that no matter how it’s going, we trust him and we got his back.”

It was Kuminga’s seventh straight 20-point game, which was part of a career-best 8th straight that started when Green was serving his second suspension of the season for striking Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic in the face.

It turned out Green’s suspension was a blessing in disguise as Warriors coach Steve Kerr was forced to start Kuminga in his absence.

Kerr was reluctant to give Kuminga the keys to the Warriors’ future which created friction that became the subject of The Athletic report on January 5 of the young player losing his faith in the four-time champion coach.

Kerr and Kuminga patched things up. The coach trusted his younger forward more since then.

Jonathan Kuminga Seizes the Opportunity

Kuminga seized the opportunity and has since solidified his spot in the starting lineup and oftentimes looked as the second-best Warriors player behind superstar Stephen Curry.

Since January 14, right after the NBA suspended Green for the second time this season, Kuminga started and never looked back.

In 43 games since then, Kuminga averaged 18.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 55% from the field. He is plus-76 over that 43-game stretch entering Monday’s game against the shorthanded New York Knicks.