Warriors’ Big Man Predicted to Ditch Dubs, Head East This Offseason

Curry, Kerr, Warriors

Getty Point guard Steph Curry (left) of the Golden State Warriors talks to head coach Steve Kerr (right) during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chase Center on April 4, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors make a couple of fringe signings each year. Some of them, like Gary Payton II in 2021-22, work out swimmingly, while others fall short.

The signing of power forward JaMychal Green last offseason probably deserves a rating somewhere in between those two relative extremes, though it is definitely trending toward the group of deals that didn’t work out exactly as expected.

Such was the premise of a prediction from Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report on Thursday, April 13, in which he projects that Golden State’s lesser Green will bolt for the Eastern Conference when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer. Specifically, Buckley guessed Green will land with the up-and-coming Indiana Pacers who missed the playoffs this season but have the makings of a top-end NBA backcourt in Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.

JaMychal Green looked like a great fit in Golden State when he signed last summer. He wound up a lot closer to fine.

He revived his three-point accuracy (37.8 percent, up from 26.6 the previous season), but he didn’t take enough of them to move the needle as a spacer (1.9 attempts per outing). He had a quiet season on the glass, offered very little playmaking and was more solid than spectacular on defense.

He didn’t do enough to make the Warriors definitely want him to bring him back, but he may have shown enough for someone else to sign him for more than Golden State can pay.

Warriors Can Get More For Their Money by Moving on From Green

JaMychal Green Warriors

GettyGolden State Warriors forward JaMychal Green handles the ball during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Green didn’t come to the Warriors at a heavy cost, signing just a one-year deal worth $2.6 million.

He played 10 fewer games for Golden State (57) in the 2022-23 campaign than he did for the Denver Nuggets (67) the season prior. Green’s floor minutes dropped to 14.0 per contest for the Dubs, down from 16.2 minutes per outing in Denver.

Green’s offensive production was exactly the same year-over-year at 6.4 points per night. His rebounds dipped from 4.2 per game to 3.6 per game, while his nightly averages in assists (0.9) and blocks (0.4) remained static, per Basketball Reference.

If Green is willing to sign on at a similar price moving forward, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for the Warriors to bring him back. However, he will enter his 10th NBA campaign at the age of 33 next season, and Golden State can probably get more bang for its buck from younger backup big men in free agency or potentially the draft.

Draymond Green, Dante DiVincenzo Have Player Options Next Year

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyForward Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Another fringe signing in the Bay Area this offseason was Dante DiVincenzo. The shooting guard has played a significantly larger role for the Warriors than has Green, and his loss in free agency would be more acutely felt.

DiVincenzo put up 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.3 minutes per night across 72 appearances, exactly half of which were starts. He has a $4.7 million player option on his contract for the 2023-24 season, but has clearly outplayed that salary and is expected to explore more lucrative offers in free agency.

His scenario is similar to that of the aforementioned Payton II, who left the Dubs after their title run last season for a three-year, $26.1 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Fate — and the painful trade of former No. 2 pick James Wiseman — brought Payton back to the Warriors, but Dubs fans shouldn’t expect the same kind of situation to play out with DiVincenzo.

Draymond Green also has a player option on his contract next season, which pays the former Defensive Player of the Year $25.8 million. He is expected either to exercise that option or push for a new deal entirely. Either way, the Warriors will pay a massive amount if Draymond Green remains on the roster in 2023-24 due to luxury tax penalties as the team is already well over the projected salary cap.

Keeping the core trio of Draymond Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson together for multiple years in the future is the exact reason that Golden State will struggle to hold on to quality producers on short contracts, such as DiVincenzo was this year. It is also why the Dubs will have to continue to take swings on players like Jamychal Green, who bring with them enough variance to make them the definition of hit-or-miss prospects.

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