Draymond Green rejoined the Golden State Warriors on Thursday after time away from the team for his assault on Jordan Poole. Green and Poole had a lengthy conversation and the team is ready to bring back their emotional leader, though he still has work to do to reestablish trust with his teammates and the organization. Head coach Steve Kerr said it’s a very serious situation and there is work to be done. But the play of his young players may help solve this crisis.
“This is the biggest crisis that we’ve had since I’ve been the coach here,” Kerr said. “It’s really serious stuff. We’re not perfect. … But we’re going to lean on the experience that we have together and trust that this is the best decision for our team. We have a lot of work to do. All of us.”
The Warriors are looking to defend their NBA championship, and the leaked video of Green throwing violent punches at Poole has put that in jeopardy. Regardless of how the Warriors try to spin it in the media, this has negatively impacted the team and isn’t something that’s going to heal overnight.
“There is no way around it: [Our] culture has been damaged by this incident,” Kerr said. “You have to work to repair that. He broke our trust, but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because I think he’s earned that.”
Green was looking for a contract extension on his current four-year, $99 million deal. This latest incident has all but assured the Warriors will not be offering him an extension. In addition, the Warriors’ young players have been showing out this preseason, and if their development continues it may make Draymond expendable.
2020 No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman has looked good in the preseason. In his most recent game he scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 18 minutes. 2021 draft picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have also looked improved this preseason.
They, along with Kevon Looney and Poole, are the bridge to the Warriors’ future. If general manager Bob Myers and Kerr think those players have improved enough over the course of the season it could spell the end for Green.
Since 2015, when fully healthy Green has been among the league leaders in EPM, and that’s with his “limited” offensive game.
Green is 32, and as integral as he has been, he is on the decline. What is the incentive Warriors governor Joe Lacob, Myers and Kerr have to extend a player who has proved to be difficult to manage and nearly severely injured a very important young player?
With a declining Green and the highest luxury tax bill in the league, the Warriors want no part of this.
Green has this year left and a player option next year he will most certainly exercise, especially if the Warriors do not extend him. With a year left at roughly $25 million that contract will have value in a potential trade.
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