Pressure makes diamonds, or in the Golden State Warriors’ case, produces punches. Following the leaked footage from a recent Warriors’ practice where Draymond Green punched free-agent-to-be Jordan Poole, fans and media speculated on possible landing spots for the disgruntled Warrior. With Green and Poole in negotiations for their respective contract extensions, the Warriors’ front office has their hands full. Including a few previously mentioned trade partners, Last Word On Sports provides the Warriors with more options to unload Green.
Landing Spots for Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green
Send Green Home
For some, the Detroit Pistons are merely a lottery-bound Eastern Conference team. They’re also the hometown team of the Michigan-born and later Spartan-made Green. As the Pistons look to grow the young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, who better to groom Detroit’s future than a four-time NBA champion?
Despite harboring a plethora of prospects with rookie-scale contracts, the Pistons have a handful of NBA veterans on the roster. Regarding contracts, Detroit has a few to match Green’s $25 million figure and a pick to boot. Green’s current contract would take the cake for the highest annual earnings on the Pistons’ roster.
Unfortunately, due to recently-signed/traded restrictions, the Pistons and Warriors must practice patience to make a deal. Providing Poole and Green play nice for a little bit longer, the Warriors can obtain Bojan Bogdanovic and Nerlens Noel, in addition to the Pistons’ 2028 first-round pick. Due to cap space rules, the Warriors would have to include contract filler to make the trade work, but considering their tender situation, that’s no problem.
Detroit is home to many no-nonsense blue-collar workers, which is right up Green’s alley. In addition to the hard-working community, the Pistons franchise deeply appreciates Green’s defensive tenacity as Ben Wallace and the Bad Boy Pistons paved the way for Green. Future money aside, Green’s defensive impact and overall intensity would bolster the playoff-starved Detroit bunch into play-in status.
Regarding the trade from the Warriors’ standpoint, Bogdanovic easily fits as a stretch-four while they sure up the center rotation with a rim-running Noel. It’s a rare win-win trade for both teams.
Green and Detroit go together like Eminem and Royce Da, 5’9. However, timing is critical. Can the Warriors wait any longer to trade Green?
What’s a Warrior to a King?
Although the Warriors currently dominate the California teams, there is a team bubbling in their state capitol. Amid a 16-year playoff drought, a postseason appearance remains the goal for the Sacramento Kings. With a few matching contracts and plenty of picks to spare, consider the Kings a reasonable trade partner for the Warriors.
Despite Sacramento sorely lacking the championship history of the aforementioned Pistons franchise, the Kings have a young roster itching for a lively veteran presence. As the Warriors look to chop salary, trading for an expiring salary helps immensely. Not only can Sacramento provide an expiring salary, but they also gift Golden State with a reunion. Harrison Barnes earns $18 million this season and hits free agency in 2023. Pairing him with backup center Richaun Holmes allows the Warriors to fill multiple needs.
Devoid of an elite shooting point guard, Green won’t have the same dribble hand-off partner he has in Stephen Curry. Instead, De’Aaron Fox has an explosive athletic ability for the former Michigan State Spartan to fuel. With Draymond Green as the defensive anchor and a helpful creator for the young-and-inexperienced roster, the Kings have a chance at participating in the play-in tournament.
Green’s never-quit approach, mixed with his intense pursuit of winning, bodes well for any team who hasn’t tasted championship champagne. Furthermore, the Kings need any dose of winning at almost any cost. Trading one draft pick when you have all of them in your control doesn’t seem too risky of a deal. What’s the point of making a win-now trade for Domantas Sabonis if you won’t push the button for a disgruntled Green?
Do It for Doncic
Unlike the other two teams in this exercise, the next has a generational talent on the roster. Imagine going from a two-time MVP teammate to an MVP favorite. Although the Dallas Mavericks lack an abundance of trade bait, they have a bundle of lucrative contracts to match Green’s. Again, the Warriors must cut costs, as their already-expensive roster is about to multiply as Andrew Wiggins and hot-topic Poole are up for extensions.
Although never considered a defensive juggernaut, Dwight Powell fits as a good locker-room guy and a try-hard rim-running big. More importantly, though, Powell is on an expiring contract. The other piece to getting Draymond Green out of San Francisco is a three-and-d wing, Reggie Bullock, who, you guessed it, is on an expiring contract. Technically, he has a team option next season, but of course, it gives the Warriors a choice to activate it in the off-season.
Bullock fits on both sides of the ball. Bullock caused fits defending various Phoenix Suns guards, while also burying 39 percent of his three-point shots in the 2022 playoffs. The Warriors can make do with the patch-up job in addition to acquiring future draft compensation. The Warriors are such a good team, that they can make almost any player work in their system. However, ridding themselves of Green’s volatile energy is imperative to the team’s future. System fit means less when you just need to rip off the band-aid to prevent further infection.
Dallas has a glut of frontcourt players. None comes close to the genius of Green’s caliber, though. Also, trading for a future hall-of-fame player mutes the current discord surrounding Christian Wood. Green anchoring the Mavs’ defense catapults them into elite territory. He also meshes with his play-making abilities and adds a wrinkle to the slower offense with his knack for pushing the tempo. Furthermore, Green’s strength makes for nearly unbreakable screens for Doncic and other guards looking for open looks.
Although the Mavericks have handcuffed themselves from making bigger deals for other disgruntled stars, obtaining Green’s services coincides with their current assets. The Warriors must address their dilemma sooner rather than later. Keep in mind, Draymond Green is a distressed asset, and likely won’t garner a significant return. Dallas has a puncher’s chance at adding an elite defender to last season’s sixth-best-rated defense. Meanwhile, the Warriors shed salary while adding another three-and-d player to their rotation.
All stats appear courtesy of Basketball Reference and Real GM.