Draymond Green is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and is expected to leave the Warriors.
Draymond Green is ‘expected’ to leave the Golden State Warriors to join LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers
According to NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith, Draymond Green believes this will be his final season with the Warriors and that he would like to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors’ 32-year-old star has an option to extend his contract for another year, but it now appears that he will decline this option in order to pursue a long-term deal elsewhere.
He’s won four championships and six NBA Finals in the last eight years as a key member of the Warriors’ roster.
In his first two seasons with Warriors, he was underappreciated, but in his third year, he rose to become one of the pillars who helped the team win its first championship.
However, with the Warriors now having a few younger players on their roster that they’d like to keep, the salary cap may force them to part ways with Green or fellow long-time Warrior Klay Thompson.
And with Green likely to become a free agent, he’d be a hot commodity as one of the NBA’s best defensive players.
The Warriors’ decision may have been made easier by a recent video that showed Green punching one of the aforementioned young players who they’d like to keep in Jordan Poole. Green punches Poole and throws him to the ground in the video after an argument during a practice session; he has since apologized for the incident.
Stephen A. Smith, host of ESPN’s First Take and an ESPN Insider, revealed details about Green’s situation.
Smith said: “I can tell you right now, [Andrew] Wiggins and Poole are a priority. I can tell you right now that Draymond Green is expecting this to be his last year in Golden State. Now, he wanna be a Laker. He ain’t gonna tell anybody that, but don’t think I don’t know. He’d prefer to be a Laker if he gotta leave Golden State.
“But he looking for a payday. He gonna get $25 million this year. He got a player option for $24 million next year. The Warriors are probably hoping he don’t opt in because they’d have to pay him on top of the cats that they know that they gotta pay in Poole and Wiggins.”