Draymond Green is currently entering the first year of his four-year, $99.6 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. The deal includes a player option in 2023.
When the Warriors offered Green that deal, the assumption was that he would continue to be a foundational member of a championship-contending group alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Obviously injuries have taken a sledgehammer to Golden State’s title aspirations, prompting many to wonder whether a trade involving Green may be in the cards.
This week, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that Green has a big advocate for his talents over on the Portland Trail Blazers. Apparently, team star Damian Lillard has been enamored with his skill set for a while.
“If we were handicapping Draymond trade destinations if the Warriors decided to blow it up…that’s the one,” he said.
“Damian and his group have for the last couple years been campaigning for that.”
This report aligns well with another one from Yahoo Sports NBA insider Chris Haynes several weeks back, when he suggested that Green might find himself on the market if the Warriors’ fortunes don’t improve upon his return from injury.
“You’re asking an awful lot of Draymond to come in and save this situation,” he noted.
When Haynes indicated that Golden State may be open to moving Green, he also revealed that he knew of one team that was extremely intrigued by the prospect of acquiring him.
“I know a team that would be salivating if that was the case,” he said.
While Haynes did not mention the team by name, it is not hard to fill in the blanks at this point – it’s Portland.
Paulina Gretzky knows what she’s doing.https://t.co/zfKrfjY8iP
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 3, 2021
As a byproduct of Zach Collins undergoing a second surgery on his ankle, the Blazers find themselves needing a smart, play-making big up front. Green would address some defensive issues and take over some ball-handling responsibilities in the way he did with Curry and Thompson during the Warriors’ championship run.
While it is unclear what Portland really has to offer Golden State in return for Green, the mere prospect of shedding Green’s massive salary off the books could be alluring for the Warriors.
It is one thing to have the league’s highest payroll ($173.7 million) when you’re contending for a title every year – it’s different when you’re incapable of making the playoffs.
Currently, the Warriors are 4-3. If they can maintain a +.500 record going forward, then a Green trade is unlikely. However, if the team reverts to looking the way it looked against the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the trade chatter heat up once more.