Don’t Get It Twisted, Jordan Poole And Andrew Wiggins Securing Bags Means Draymond Green’s Time In Golden State Is Clearly Coming To An End

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday, the Golden State Warriors agreed to a four-year, $140 million contract extension with young sharpshooter Jordan Poole and a four-year, $109 million extension with Andrew Wiggins. With these extensions and the committed salary already on the books, the projected salary and luxury tax for the Warriors next season is $483 million. Owner Joe Lacob is a billionaire ($1.5B net worth) but that’s a big bill. He will look to shed some salary going forward, and it’s hard to imagine Draymond Green remaining on the team given these realities.

By now you know Green assaulted Poole during a practice. Green was fined and sent away or mutually agreed to step away from the team for a week. He’s since returned, apologized and the team is looking to move forward and begin their title defense.

Poole spoke publicly for the first time about the Green incident on Sunday and is moving forward.

“He apologized — professional and we plan on handling ourselves that way. We’re here to play basketball. Everybody in the locker room and on our team knows what it takes to win a championship, and we’re going to do that on the court.
That’s really all I have to say on the matter. We’re here to win a championship and keep hanging banners.”

Poole will keep it professional as he said, and there is no reason to believe he and the Warriors won’t. But Green as the emotional and defensive leader of the team, and one of the OGs along with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, broke trust with his teammates and the organization with his actions. He’s created a void in a key leadership spot and unfortunately for him there are enough guys to fill that void.

Green is in year three of a $99 million deal. He was hoping for an extension over the summer. That didn’t happen. He has a player option he could pick up next year for $27 million or he can decline and become a free agent next summer.

Had he not punched Poole the Warriors would likely be more inclined to engage in a contract extension. But why would they want to pay max money for a 32-year-old defensive specialist who is a headache to deal with behind the scenes?

General manager Bob Myers was asked about Green’s potential contract extension after the Poole and Wiggins deals were announced.

“Draymond’s in a great spot. He’s got a player option. … It’s a great position for a player to be in. You control your destiny. … I imagine he’ll have a fantastic year. I think he will. He’s got a lot on the line.”

Green is not an offensive creator or a seven-footer. He’s a 6-foot-7 elite defensive player who needs to be in the right offensive system to provide value on that end of the floor. He is and always has been more valuable to the Warriors than any other franchise. But they are questioning that value, given the other baggage he brings.

The presence of Wiggins, Kevon Looney, rising players James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga make Green expendable and maybe sooner rather than later.

For the Warriors to defend their title this year they will need peak Green, but going forward will they?

At 33 with declining athleticism and a limited offensive game it’s easy to see any of the aforementioned younger players combining to approximate what Green does defensively and providing more on offense.

When Myers said Green was in a great spot he was also referring to the Warriors.

Green is under contract this season and they can trade him if they want. They can also have the benefit of having him play out the entire season and letting him decide what he’ll do regarding the player option. If the market isn’t what he thinks it will be, he will opt in. Meaning the Warriors can keep him for another season or trade him.

Regardless, given the extensions just handed out, the incident with Poole and the realities of life in the NBA, it looks like the Draymond Green era in Golden State is coming to an end.

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