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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Draymond Green likely to return to Warriors?

Draymond Green on the court

May 24, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game four of the 2022 Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-2023 season came to the close for the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers, 122-101, in Game 6 of the West Semifinals. Now comes an offseason of uncertainty for the team, including for forward Draymond Green.

Green has a $27.6 million player option and could opt to become a free agent. But that would be a risky gamble for Green — how many teams outside of the Warriors would be willing to sign him to a long-term contract at the age of 33? In all reality, it would be precious few if any.

That’s now how Green sees things, however.

Green believes he has some leverage and that several playoff-contending teams would pursue him if he hits free agency, The Athletic reports. Despite that, he would ideally like to remain with Golden State.

“I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life,” he said after Friday night’s loss. “I want to ride out with the same dudes I rode in with.”

Green may ultimately get his wish.

The Athletic also reports that the Warriors intend to discuss a multi-year deal for Green this offseason. That could work one of two ways — he opts-in and the team extends him or he opts-out and the team signs him to an entirely new deal. Either way, Golden State would keep Green in tow even if it comes at the potential expense of a new luxury tax tier.

Head coach Steve Kerr implied after the Game 6 loss that he’d like to retain Green, believing that he, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are still a talented enough core to keep the Warriors’ championship window open.

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