The Golden State Warriors are struggling and decimated by injuries, so they’re trying something different Sunday night.
According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Warriors will start Draymond Green at the point guard position against the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a bigger lineup.
Positionless basketball is increasingly prevalent these days, so Green will probably wind up playing different roles. If the implication is that he will wind up being the team’s primary ballhandler, it’s an interesting wrinkle for a team desperately trying to find something that works. Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell, who would typically handle such duties, are both injured for at least a few weeks, at least in Russell’s case.
Green insists he has more room to grow as an NBA player. Becoming a competent lead ballhandler would certainly prove him right.
Draymond Green is 29 and in his eighth season in the NBA, and he says he still has room to grow and improve. In fact, Green believes he still has not hit his peak as a basketball player.
Green spoke with ESPN’s Sam Alipour for an article that talked about Green’s business interests owning some fitness gyms in Michigan and the Midwest. In the article, Green said he gave up shots to accommodate the Golden State Warriors’ acquisition of Kevin Durant. While that cost him a role on the team as a scorer, it helped the team win championships, so he says the trade was worth it. But without Durant around, Green has been working on his game and says he is still ascending as a player.
“I’m definitely not at my peak. I have so much room to grow, new heights that I can reach — like becoming a 40% 3-point shooter. That’d be amazing, right? My shooting dropped off the last couple of seasons, but it’s tough when you’re taking only two or three 3s a game. My percentages were a lot higher when I took more,” Green says.
The numbers actually are inconsistent with Green’s claim about his percentages being higher when he takes more threes. In his best season, 2015-2016, Green made 38.8 percent of his threes on 3.2 attempts per game. For his career, he’s made 32.2 percent on threes. And he’s only making 28.6 percent of them this season.
We love Green’s desire to improve and the confidence he expresses in himself, but we doubt his ability to reach this particular goal year-in and year-out.
Congratulations are in order for Draymond Green, who earned a very worthy distinction on Monday night.
Green became the first player ever ejected from Chase Center when he was tossed from the Golden State Warriors-Utah Jazz game in the fourth quarter. Green was upset with being called for a reach-in foul and received two technicals, which triggered the automatic ejection.
Green was playing his first contest since missing five games due to a finger sprain. He had four points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 22 minutes before being ejected.
The Warriors’ woes continue. They’re now 2-9 following the loss and are 1-5 at their new home in San Francisco. The team has been playing without Steph Curry, who said before the game that he expects to return from a broken hand in the spring.
The relationship between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green never seemed the same following their altercation early last season, and many believe that was a factor in Durant’s decision to leave the Golden State Warriors and sign with the Brooklyn Nets. Now, we can say with certainty that it played a role.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday, Durant admitted the incident with Green helped push him out the door.
“A little bit, yeah, for sure,” Durant said. “If your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it but definitely, for sure, I’m not gonna lie about it.”
Durant also said he felt the incident could have been avoided, and he believes it is one of the main reasons he was constantly asked about his impending free agency.
“I wish that wouldn’t have happened. It was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere,” he said. “Everybody was just looking for something to tear us down, and that just brought in the firestorm with every day being about my free agency … it opened up a lot of nonsense that could have been avoided.”
The original reason for the argument probably was not that big of a deal. Durant called out Green for not passing the ball near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November, and the dispute spilled over into the locker room. What really created issues was when Green told Durant the Warriors don’t need him and reminded him that they won before he arrived in Golden State. That is almost certainly what Durant was referring to on “First Take.”
Ironically, the Green who told Durant the Warriors don’t need him is the same Green who supposedly called K.D. to deliver the opposite message after Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals back in 2016.
It’s possible Durant was going to leave the Warriors in free agency regardless, but his strained relationship with Green may have made the decision easier.
Draymond Green has been listed as 6-foot-7 on his basketball profiles, but that’s changing this season thanks to the league’s crackdown on player heights and ages. Green does not feel his new height of 6-foot-5 is accurate, either.
Green posted a video to his Instagram story on Wednesday that showed him getting his height measured. The Golden State Warriors forward took his shoes off and checked in at just under 78 inches, making him about 6-foot-5 and three quarters.
Green seems to think 6-foot-6 should be his listed height, but that’s only if we’re rounding up.
Either way, long gone are the days of Draymond being 6-foot-7, unless, you know, we’re measuring him with shoes on.
Green’s former Golden State Warriors teammate, Kevin Durant, actually had his height adjusted upwards from 6-foot-9 to 6-foot-10. Green’s height went in the opposite direction.
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had their differences when they were teammates with the Golden State Warriors, but Kevin isn’t the only member of the Durant family that Green doesn’t get along with. A comment Green left on Durant’s brother’s Instagram page may or may not be evidence of that.
Durant’s brother, Tony, recently had a baby. He shared a photo on Instagram of himself, Kevin and their mother Wanda posing with the new addition, and Green chimed in with a bizarre comment.
“You talked a lot of bulls— about me … all good doe … This pic brings me great JOY … however this is not the American dream … it’s OUR dream,” Green wrote.
What does that mean? We can only speculate, but it seems like Green is saying Tony is living a nice life only because Kevin has been so successful as a basketball player. As for why Green would feel the need to point that out in a social media post celebrating the arrival of a new baby, it could be because Tony has been critical of Green in the past.
As Eric Ting of SFGate.com reminds us, Tony called out Green after Green’s most public dispute with Kevin last year, when the two got into an argument on the court that spilled over into the locker room. Tony posted some cryptic messages on Instagram that could be interpreted as him saying Green is piggybacking off of the accomplishments of Kevin and others.
Then, there’s also the fact that Green capitalized the word “JOY” in his comment. When Warriors coach Steve Kerr criticized the team late last season for not playing with more anger and passion, Durant disagreed with Kerr and told the media, “I thought we moved off joy.”
All of this is very petty, of course, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. There seems to be some tension between Durant and a few of his former Warriors teammates — not just Green. That should make for a lot more petty social media activity during the season.
Kevin Durant and a couple of his former Golden State Warriors teammates got a laugh out of a funny meme a Warriors fan account posted to Instagram on Monday.
The Warriors gave several media members a tour of the new Chase Center Monday. The WarriorsTalk Instagram account posted a photo of Durant at the arena from a previous visit and included a funny caption that referenced Durant’s current home with the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant signed with the Nets in the offseason and left the team prior to their move to the new arena, which many suspected would happen all along. He got a laugh out of the Instagram post and left a funny comment.
“I’m cryin. That’s f–ked up,” he wrote, adding a few crying laughing emojis.
Steph Curry saw it too and reacted, “Yo! Who come up with this stuff?” he asked.
And Draymond Green found it funny too, adding in the crying laughing emojis.
A report in the days after Durant chose to sign with the Nets said Steph Curry was perturbed by the timing of KD’s announcement. Maybe all is well between the Warriors and Durant now.
The Golden State Warriors have locked down the last remaining member of their core who didn’t already have a long-term deal in hand.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Warriors and Draymond Green have a greed to a four-year, $100 million max contract extension that will kick in a year from now. Green had been due to become a free agent next summer.
Green has been a Warrior since entering the league and is clearly happy to stay, especially since he believes the team has more years of championship contention to come. The 29-year-old averaged 7.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game last season, but his usage figures to improve next season with Kevin Durant’s departure and Klay Thompson’s injury. He’s regarded as the emotional heart and soul of the Warriors, and the team knew they had to keep him.
There were rumblings of Kevin Durant leaving the Golden State Warriors well before last season began, but Kendrick Perkins believes the team had a solid chance to re-sign him right up until the incident between Durant and Draymond Green.
Perkins, who played with Durant in Oklahoma City, spoke about the relationship between Durant and Green during an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” this week. Things came to a boil when Durant called out Green for not passing the ball near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers back in November.
“I think, in my opinion, KD never bounced back from the Draymond situation. … The Warriors tried to clean it up by suspending Draymond,” Perkins said. “They suspended Draymond and then about two months later, the owner comes back out and says he wants Draymond there for life.”
Perkins said he has gotten into heated arguments with almost all of his teammates but they “never crossed the line” the way he feels Green did. It was reported at the time that Green told Durant the Warriors don’t need him and challenged him to leave in free agency. Perkins believes that was “the last straw” for Durant.
“It’s hard to overcome that,” Perkins said. “Those were some harsh words. … I think that was the last straw.”
A number of factors are believed to have played a role in Durant’s decision, and even his relationship with Stephen Curry may have been one of them. At the very least, the feud with Green didn’t help.
The Golden State Warriors are hoping to sign Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to five-year max contracts when free agency begins, and that may not be the end of their massive spending spree even if all goes to plan.
Draymond Green has one year remaining on his current deal with the Warriors, but he is eligible to sign a max extension this summer. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst report that Green is open to signing a new contract before he becomes a free agent, and the two sides are expected to discuss an extension later in the offseason.
In many ways, Green has been as important to Golden State’s success over the past several years as Durant, Thompson and Stephen Curry. He’s one of the best defenders in the NBA and has the ability to take over games when the aforementioned stars are struggling. That said, he is set to make $18 million next season and has been making less than that up to this point. A max contract for him would represent a significant raise.
The Warriors have Green’s Bird rights, so they can spend over the salary cap to re-sign him, which is what they have already done with Curry and are hoping to do with Thompson. Their luxury tax bill continues to grow to an unprecedented figure, but they are making more money than any team in the NBA and opening a brand new arena in San Francisco next season. As long as they keep winning, the Warriors are fine with spending huge.