Superstar Recruits Warriors’ Draymond Green to West Rival: Report

Draymond Green, Warriors

Getty Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals in May 2023.

The Golden State Warriors have cleared a path to re-sign Draymond Green, but not before a few suitors get the chance to bat their proverbial eyelashes in the defensive juggernaut’s general direction.

A handful of teams, including the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies, have been floated as potential destinations for Green who opted out of the final year of his contract with the Dubs this summer, forfeiting a $27.6 million payday in the interest of a multiyear deal. Then, of course, there is the ever-present threat of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the most dangerous player to date in the Green sweepstakes might be the Portland Trail Blazers — an organization that could pull out all the stops in an effort to retain superstar Damian Lillard.

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Monday, June 26, that Lillard’s “dream scenario” involves Portland re-signing Jeremy Grant and adding Green via free agency.

“While Golden State is known to be extremely confident about Green re-signing, the price of his return is likely to be a point of contention,” Amick wrote. “Enter the Blazers, who could make Green the unofficial savior in this sensitive Lillard situation while giving him a chance to add to his legacy in a different jersey after 11 seasons with the Warriors.”

Blazers Will Struggle to Free up Cap Room Required to Steal Draymond Green From Warriors

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.

GettyDraymond Green (left) of the Golden State Warriors guards Damian Lillard (right) of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Should the Warriors retain Green, the franchise’s saving grace will be, at least in part, the difficulty that teams like the Trail Blazers and Lakers will have compensating him with the sort of contract he desires.

“It would take some serious salary cap wizardry by [Portland GM Joe] Cronin to make this happen,” Amick continued. “[The Blazers] currently have no room to sign someone of Green’s ilk. Especially considering he’s likely looking for a deal in the mid-$20 million range annually.”

There are complicated ways to make such a deal happen, Amick explained, but that kind of move would require buy-in on all sides of the equation. Beyond that, Green has been fairly adamant about his preferences as far as where he wants to play moving forward.

“There are sign-and-trade pathways to be explored, and likely with a third team needing to be involved, but it’s an implausible prospect to say the least,” Amick wrote. “And again, all signs point to Green wanting to stay put.”

Draymond Green Recently Expressed Strong Desire to Finish Career in Golden State

Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty(L-R) Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors huddle on the court during an NBA game.

The most prominent signal of Green’s intention to remain with the Warriors came from his own mouth during a media session in May after the Lakers eliminated Golden State from the playoffs in six games during the Western Conference Semifinals.

“I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life,” Green said. “I wanna ride out with the same dudes I rode in with.”

There is no reason to doubt that sentiment, as Green doesn’t spend much time engaging in subterfuge while sitting in front of a microphone in any context — be it while speaking to reporters or recording his popular basketball podcast. However, Green’s choice to opt out indicates that while he wants to finish his playing career in Golden State, he wants to be compensated for it in a way he sees fit.

How much money it’s going to take over how long of a duration to keep the team’s best defender in-house is hard to say. A common line of thinking in projections regarding the matter has been that Green will accept a three- or four-year contract that potentially keeps him in Golden State through the 2026-27 campaign. Steph Curry will hit free agency the summer prior to that season at the age of 38.

Green’s annual number on his next deal with the Warriors, assuming he ends up signing one, will probably be commensurate with the number of years the agreement lasts. In other words, his per season price tag will be higher if he signs a three-year contract and stays in-step with Curry on their respective commitments to the franchise, while Green’s cost per season will likely dip a bit if the Dubs toss on an extra contract year.

Amick’s projection of the mid-$20 million range annually for Green feels more likely on a four-year deal, while the 33-year-old could press for upwards of $30 million per season, or even more, should he sign a three-year contract to remain with the Warriors this summer.

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