Recently, Draymond Green made headlines for declining his player option. He is now set to hit free agency as an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team he would like. If he had accepted the player option, Green would have remained on the Golden State Warriors roster for $27.6 million next season. Green’s agent Rich Paul was quoted as saying, “We will continue to talk to Golden State and explore all options”.
There is a strong chance that Green will come back to the Warriors on a more team-friendly deal. Currently, the Warriors are hard-pressed on cap space, and for the team to have the chance to bring in a quality player that could improve their championship odds, players like Green would have to take massive pay cuts.
Golden State’s new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. was quoted as saying, “We really want Draymond back. What he means in terms of this organization and this team, winning at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him”. With Green having all of the leverage with his player option, it is very shocking that he did not accept it. Even if he does test free agency, there is an extremely strong chance that no team will offer him anywhere near the $27.6 million he would have made if he accepted the player option.
However, opting out of the player option allows Green the freedom to do whatever he wants this offseason. As previously mentioned, he could rejoin the Warriors on a reduced deal.
Another option would be working with the Warriors to construct a sign and trade to send Green to his new team. This would allow the Warriors to receive something for the third piece of their dynasty while Green would get a better payday than he would likely receive on the open market.
The final option for Green is to sign with a new team as an unrestricted free agent. If he were to do this, he likely would sign with a contending team on a mid-level exception or even a veteran minimum deal. While this would be the worst move for Green financially, it would put him in an incredible spot to win the fifth NBA Finals of his career.
If he were to sign with a new team in free agency, the most likely landing spot for Green is the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a well-known fan of LeBron James despite the two going at it in the four times they played against each other in the NBA Finals. With James not having much gas left in the tank and likely retiring within the next three years, this may be the final chance that Green would get to play with his favorite player and contend for a championship.
While Green would not be a great fit for the Lakers on the offensive end. His inability to shoot from outside would make the court spacing atrocious when he shared the floor with James and Anthony Davis. However, Green would play well to the Lakers’ strengths. He is an elite playmaker and still a very solid defender. He and Davis would be an incredible duo in the paint on the defensive end. While adding Green to the roster would not guarantee the Lakers a title, he would be a very solid piece to add to the roster if Green chooses against signing back with Golden State or taking part in a sign and trade.
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