Warriors Trade Pitch Flips Draymond Green to Struggling East Squad

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.

The Golden State Warriors signed Draymond Green to the second $100 million contract of his career in July 2023, but the events of last season might have the franchise second-guessing that decision.

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report on Monday, May 27, authored a trade pitch in which the Dubs send Green back to his home state of Michigan to play for the Detroit Pistons in return for draft compensation and the clearing his $24.1 million salary cap hit off the books for the 2024-25 campaign.

The Detroit Pistons were among the teams rumored to be interested in Draymond Green during 2023 free agency. Though they didn’t land the four-time All-Star then, the Pistons have the flexibility to deal for him now.

With up to $64 million in cap space at its disposal, Detroit could easily absorb Green’s $24.1 million salary without needing to send anything but picks back to the tax-hit Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors seem most likely to keep their core together and try to compete for at least the two-year duration of Stephen Curry’s contract. But if Detroit wants to add some serious competitive intensity (and risk the blow-ups that could come in a losing environment), it should keep an eye on Green.

Warriors Must Decide Draymond Green’s True Value to Team

Warriors forward Draymond Green reacts

Getty Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

While Hughes wrote his proposal from more of the Pistons’ perspective, the benefits to the Warriors are clear.

Golden State has a lot of money invested in either aging and/or underperforming players. The $109 million deal for Andrew Wiggins comes to mind, as does the $43.2 million cap hit the Dubs had to navigate last season on behalf of a struggling Klay Thompson.

The Warriors can move on from Thompson this summer simply by choosing not to re-sign him, as the shooting guard will become an unrestricted free agent and can go anywhere he pleases. Unfortunately for the franchise, it would probably need to add assets to a trade package just to convince another team to take on Wiggins’ contract, which has become something of an albatross around the organization’s proverbial neck since he helped the team win a title two years ago.

Green is different from Thompson and Wiggins in that when he plays, he still improves the Warriors’ on-court product significantly over any of his replacements by way of superb defense and an intuitive and effective two-way offensive game with Curry. Big problems, however, exist in Green’s inability to stay available due to consistent ejections and suspensions.

The NBA suspended Green for five games after he put center Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a headlock during a contest in November. Green later missed 12 games due to a suspension for striking Phoenix Suns big man Jusuf Nurkic in the face while on the court.

Argument Can Be Made Draymond Green Cost Warriors Playoffs in 2024 Due to Missed Games

Draymond Green

GettyDraymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State finished the regular season as the No. 10 seed with a record of 46-36, losing in the first round of the NBA Play-In Tournament to the Sacramento Kings and missing out on the playoffs for the third time in the past five years.

Had the Warriors won four more games, they would have earned a top-six seed and avoided the Play-In Tournament altogether. If they had won six more games, they would have hosted a playoff series.

It is impossible to say how much more successful the Dubs’ season would have been if Green hadn’t removed himself from so much of it through his poor behavior, but one can certainly assert that the team would have finished with a stronger record than it did. And the Dubs may have put together a playoff run as a result.

Green was also a lightning rod the year prior, when he threw the franchise’s entire season into chaos before it even began by punching then teammate Jordan Poole in the face during a practice.

It is hard to argue that Green isn’t still a crucial piece to the Warriors’ success, but it’s also difficult to argue that keeping him on the roster won’t be among their biggest risks moving forward.

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