Defensive-minded forward Draymond Green has spent all 11 of his NBA seasons playing for the Golden State Warriors. However, with his contract containing a player-option at the end of this season, speculation about a potential exit has begun.
Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes included the Warriors forward on a March 23 list of upcoming free agents that come with risks attached.
He discussed the potential of Green walking away from The Bay this summer.
“Maybe that scenario won’t come until the start of the 2024-25 season, but we shouldn’t dismiss the chance that Green will turn down his option and hit the market in search of a new deal with a lower annual salary but more guaranteed money overall,” Hughes began. “Green could follow the Harden blueprint in Philly by opting out and re-signing with Golden State, the team with the best understanding of the risk/reward dichotomy he brings. The Michigan native could sign with the Detroit Pistons, one of the few teams with cap space and one that showed a willingness to add vets to a young core when it traded for and later extended Bojan Bogdanović this past fall.”
Kings Could Pry Draymond Green Away From Warriors
Hughes later went on to mention that the 33-year-old forward will find that the grass isn’t always greener. Hughes explained that no team that’s currently contending for an NBA championship would have the cap space to land Green, besides the Sacramento Kings.
“Green may find it difficult to land on a winner if he opts out, as the Sacramento Kings are the closest thing to a contender with the ability to give him more than $15 million per season—and that’d require them letting Harrison Barnes walk for nothing,” Hughes wrote.
He then added that Green would make a fantastic addition to a team like the Kings, that’s looking to have a stifling defense in the postseason.
“Green is 33, but he’s bucking the trend of rapid decline for undersized defenders (6’6″),” Hughes pointed out. “If you got one pick to anchor a postseason defense, his versatility and know-how might still make him the guy.”
Warriors’ Draymond Green’s Outlook is Uncertain
Hughes’ main reasoning for including Green amongst his list of high-risk free agents, was the question mark surrounding his longevity.
He first put a positive spin on things, citing the Dubs forward’s increased efficiency from beyond the arc and his sharp defensive mind.
“Consider too that Green is shooting it better from long range than he has since 2015-16, has finished more efficiently around the rim these last two years than at any point in his career and remains one of the most intelligent floor-readers in the league,” Hughes argued. “As long as his mind stays sharp, Green could remain effective and drive winning for at least another couple of years.”
The four-time All-Star is having the most efficient year of his career, knocking down 53% of his attempts from the floor. As Hughes pointed out, his 3-point percentage is as high as it’s been in seven seasons at 32.5%.
Then Hughes pivoted to the more negative hypothetical, where he mentioned that Green could wind up becoming “unplayable” should he regress offensively.
Or, he could lose a half-step athletically, regress on offense and become something close to unplayable—especially on another team that runs a more conventional system.