Will the Warriors Trade Draymond Green?
Some people may try to convince you that the Golden State Warriors are not currently in the midst of a dynasty. I am here to tell you that those people are, in fact, wrong. Since Steve Kerr became head coach prior to the 2014-15 season, the Warriors have won 3 championships in 4 years. They would be looking at a fifth consecutive championship if they had not blown a 3-1 series lead in the 2016 Finals at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is a dynasty.
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However, might this be the last year we see the Warriors reign supreme in the NBA? It’s early, but there is already no shortage of drama in the Golden State locker room. Things came to a head earlier this week when Kevin Durant and Draymond Green got into an on-camera shouting match in the late stages of the team’s eventual overtime loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. The incident reportedly continued into the locker room after the game, where the argument continued.
had not passed him the ball after grabbing a rebound with the game tied and the clock ticking toward zero. Instead of getting the ball to arguably the greatest offensive player of this generation, Green decided to try and take it himself, which resulted in a fumbled turnover as time expired. The Clippers would go on to win the game in OT, 121-116.
The Warriors subsequently suspended Green for the team’s next game without pay due to his role in the altercation. The incident led to several reports that indicate that Durant plans to leave the Warriors once he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Durant leaving wouldn’t single-handedly dismantle Golden State’s dynasty, but it would obviously put a dent into things. Klay Thompson’s contract will also expire in the summer of 2019, while Green’s contract runs through next season. There is a very real possibility that Golden State loses at least 2 of its “Big 4” after this season ends.
MyBookie is trying to take advantage of the Green-Durant altercation by posting a prop bet regarding whether Green will be traded away from Golden State before February’s trade deadline.
Will Draymond Green Get Traded This Season?
- Yes +200
- No -300
As mentioned previously, Green will be under contract with the Warriors through next season, when he’ll earn about $18.5 million. Green doesn’t get most of the credit for the Warriors’ rise, but it was Kerr’s decision to put him over David Lee on the depth chart several years ago that really served as a springboard for this team. Green’s ability to defend all 5 positions while serving as arguably the best passing big man in the league gives him a unique skill set that other teams have tried and failed to duplicate. Draymond Green is a singular weapon.
While his on-court contributions are indisputable, Green has gotten into his fair share of hot water over the years. He and Kerr have reportedly had something of a love/hate relationship. The two even got into a kerfuffle of their own during the 2015-16 season. Things got so heated that police had to be called to try and settle things down.
Green’s emotions also got the better of him during the 2016 playoffs when he was involved in a number of dirty plays. The most noteworthy of which was his blatant decision to take a swing at the groin of LeBron James. It wasn’t the first time Green had tried such a thing, and it resulted in him being suspended by the league for Game 5 of the Finals. Game 5 wound up being the first of 3 consecutive wins by the Cavs, so it’s fair to say that Green’s actions played a direct role in the Warriors having choked away that championship.
The Warriors have put up with Green’s antics for years, but their decision to suspend him without pay following his most recent conflict raised eyebrows. It was a clear sign that the organization is tired of having to deal with all of his drama. While his accomplishments and importance to the team are clear, one would imagine when push comes to shove the Warriors would prefer to keep Durant over Green if forced to choose. With Durant possibly leaving as a free agent next summer, could Golden State consider trading Green this year in order to try and convince K.D. to stay?
I think it’s a real possibility. Green is something of a cult figure now in the Bay Area, and Golden State did nearly win 2 titles with a core of Green, Thompson and Stephen Curry. If nothing else, the arrival of Durant just made a nearly-unbeatable team fully unbeatable. The Warriors know they can win titles without Durant, but Durant sticking around would extend their championship window considerably.
As a result, I like the value that comes with wagering on Green to be traded sometime before this season’s trade deadline at +200. What kind of trade market develops for a player like him remains to be seen, but if trading Green gives Golden State a better shot at keeping Durant, I think they would be foolish to not at least consider making a move. The team would certainly struggle to replace what he brings to the table, but at some point the headache just isn’t worth it.
The most likely outcome here is that Golden State keeps everybody and tries to smooth things over while also cruising to another title. Things can always go south between now and February.
Where Will Klay Thompson Sign This Summer?
- Golden State Warriors +125
- Los Angeles Lakers +300
- Los Angeles Clippers +1000
- Boston Celtics +1200
- New York Knicks +1200
- Oklahoma City Thunder +1200
- Philadelphia 76ers +1500
- Miami Heat +1500
- Field (any other team) +300
As mentioned previously, Thompson is in the midst of the final season of his current contract. He’s going to become one of the more sought-after free agents once the calendar flips to July. Thompson has been a vital cog in the Warriors’ dominance over the last handful of years. Since being the No. 11 overall pick out of Washington State in 2011, Thompson has developed into arguably the league’s model 3-and-D type of player.
He’s not a standalone star, but he’s about as elite a role player as you’re going to find in the league these days. Thompson has made a living out of raining threes in catch-and-shoot situations while stifling the opponent’s best perimeter offensive player on the other end of the floor. Thompson has given no indication that he plans to leave the Warriors this summer, but what does he have left to prove with Golden State?
Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers for a number of years. Mychal is also currently an analyst for the Lakers’ radio network. Klay was born and raised in L.A., and he still makes his offseason home in the area. With nothing left to prove in the Bay Area, could Klay opt to come play for his hometown Lakers?
I think it’s a real possibility. LeBron James having signed on with the Lakers this past summer will make L.A. an even more attractive destination for free agents than it already was. If you went into a lab to try and create the perfect complementary player to play alongside LeBron, you’d probably come up with something that looks an awful lot like Klay Thompson. Thompson can thrive in an off-ball role alongside playmakers like LeBron, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
I think the Lakers are a real threat to land Klay next summer. We know Magic Johnson and co. are going to be active in trying to find other stars to come and play alongside James. If they swing and miss on guys like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson is a more than adequate contingency plan.
I don’t really think Klay will seriously consider another destination. Either he’ll stay with the Warriors or he’ll leave for the Lakers. Fortunately, both options come with pretty solid betting value here. Golden State should be the favorite until further notice, so I will happily advocate for betting on the Warriors to re-sign Thompson at =125. However, if he leaves, I think he’ll be a Laker. So, I don’t think you can go wrong with either option. If you are not convinced he will remain a Warrior, go ahead and throw a few bucks down on the Lakers to sign Thompson at +300.