Draymond Green chose to enter NBA free agency when he turned down his $27.5 million player option for the 2023-2024 season. While the expectation around the league is Green will eventually return to the Golden State Warriors, there are a few teams reportedly preparing big-money offers in hopes of luring him away from the organization that drafted him.
Green is reportedly open to taking free agent meetings outside of the Bay. There have been three teams mentioned as potential suitors: the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Kings made a fascinating trade on draft night when they sent Richaun Holmes and the No. 24 pick to the Dallas Mavericks. Sacramento decided to punt its first round pick so it could open up salary cap space by getting off Holmes’ deal. The Kings now have up to $35 million to offer to a free agent, and Green makes a ton of sense.
“The Kings can now go hunting for Draymond Green, if they wish.” – @WindhorstESPN
Windhorst mentioned Mike Brown and Draymond Green are very close. Sacramento could also “blow Golden State out of the water” for a potential Green contract.
The Kings project to have $35+ million… pic.twitter.com/djwXOjT148
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 23, 2023
Green has a strong relationship with head coach Mike Brown, who was an assistant for the Warriors on their 2022 championship team. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has long had something of an obsession with modeling his franchise after the Warriors, and there would be no better way to do it than by stealing Green. The Kings have an opening at the four if they let Harrison Barnes walk in free agency. Green would do wonders for a defense that finished No. 25 last season, but the spacing would be clunky with him and Domantas Sabonis sharing the front court.
The Pistons are another team with cap space who have interest in Green according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. Detroit can open up around $30 million in cap space. The hometown connection has always been there for the Pistons with Green being a native of Saginaw, Mich. Detroit finished as the worst team in the NBA last season, and could be ready to make a jump up the standings as Cade Cunningham returns from injury, and Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren look to make the sophomore leap. What better way to show you’re serious about winning than signing Green?
The last option is the most far-fetched. The Portland Trail Blazers do not have salary cap space, and would need to pull off a sign-and-trade to acquire Green. The Athletic reported that the dream scenario for the Blazers would be re-signing Jerami Grant and trading for Draymond Green.
Does Portland have the assets to pull it off? It seems unlikely. They’re not going to trade new No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson, and they’re widely expected to hold onto sophomore wing Shaedon Sharpe.
Green’s value to the Warriors far exceeds his box score numbers. He remains one of the best defensive players in the league, he’s one of the league’s best front court facilitators on offense, and he has a great rapport with Stephen Curry. OK, so Green and new Warriors guard Chris Paul might not be best friends, but there’s still reason to believe Golden State can be a championship contender if Green returns on a new deal.
The easy prediction is that Green returns to the Warriors on a three-year deal. However, you can never count out a big surprise in NBA free agency.