Warriors

Warriors had to suspend Draymond Green, and there are many reasons why

Warriors had to suspend Draymond Green, and there are many reasons why

OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors, understanding it is part of the package, have endured several emotional outbursts by Draymond Green, the latest left them no choice but to respond as emphatically as they did.

Their one-game suspension of Green -- “for conduct detrimental to the team” -- came after the Warriors reviewed the squabble that occurred between he and Kevin Durant in Monday night's 121-116 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

The Warriors are trying to protect their culture of openness and inclusivity, which has been one of the key ingredients to their historical success.

Nobody tests the limits of that culture more than Green, whose passion can be as trying as it is necessary. His heart is in the right place, even when his tongue seems out of place. Even in those moments when the Warriors don’t like his demeanor, they still understand his importance. He’s an essential component to the team’s four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, with three titles to show for it.

[RELATED: Ratto: Suspension shows Draymond where the third rail is]

Put another way: If Green wasn't a great player, there's no way he would have been tolerated for this long.

This time, however, there was too much evidence against him to dismiss. Green might have had the right idea, but he executed it poorly and compounded the problem by vehemently defending his questionable decision.

The Green-Durant dispute was touched off by the events of the final seconds of regulation against the Clippers.

When Green rebounded a Lou Williams miss with a little more than five seconds remaining, Durant clapped for the ball. Green instead raced up court, hoping to create something before the Clippers could set their defense.

There is no question that the Warriors' best option was to put the ball in Durant’s hands, to give him a chance for a winning shot.

He never got the ball. Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poked away Green’s dribble with about two seconds left, and the horn sounded without the Warriors getting a shot.

Durant was furious. Green was defensive. They argued on the bench and continued to bicker as they took the court for OT. There are conflicting reports whether there was a confrontation in the locker room afterward.

“S--t happens,” one source said.

“Nothing more than conversation happened,” according to another.

Something happened, and suspending Green for Tuesday night's home game against the Hawks suggests it was enough for the Warriors to take significant action.

[RELATED: Curry's presence was missed during KD-Draymond beef]

This is the first time the Warriors have taken such a strong stand. Why now? There are a number of possible explanations.

One, they wanted to send a message to Green.

Two, they didn't like the optics of two stars openly bickering.

Three, they felt Green’s defense was overheated to the point of disruptiveness.

Four, they felt Durant had a stronger and more rational case for being upset.

Five -- and it’s a big one -- is they want to do all they can to salvage their relationship with Durant, who's expected to exercise his right to become a free agent in July.

For the Warriors to be their best, having Durant and Green on board is crucial.

In the end, the suspension was the right call. I’d be surprised if Green doesn’t, at some point, perhaps after his blood stops boiling, reach the same conclusion.

NBA rumors: Draymond Green close to hiring agent who reps LeBron James

NBA rumors: Draymond Green close to hiring agent who reps LeBron James

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Not really sure who saw this one coming.

Warriors forward Draymond Green is close to hiring Rich Paul of Klutch Sports to serve as his agent, sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Paul represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, John Wall and several other big-name NBA players. His name has been in the news a lot lately because of the much publicized saga between the Pelicans, their superstar big man and the Lakers.

This news is sure to send some shockwaves around the league and keep the speculaton wheel churning.

Draymond -- who is currently represented by former NBA player B.J. Armstrong -- is in Year 4 of the five-year, $82 million deal he signed with Golden State back in the summer of 2015.

Last July, he reportedly turned down a three-year, $72 million extension that would have put him under contract through the 2022-23 campaign.

If Draymond is named Defensive Player of the Year, he would become eligible for the "super max" extension that falls in the neighborhood of $220 million over five years. If he falls short of that honor, the biggest contract he could sign with the Warriors in July is for about $129 million over five seasons.

The soon-to-be 29-year old and Golden State could also come to terms on a shorter-term extension that would begin in the 2020-21 season, or the three-time All-Star could table those discussions and test unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020.

Is Draymond trying to send any specific message to Warriors ownership or management by changing representation? Maybe, maybe not. 

But this definitely adds another layer of intrigue to what is already going to be a monumental summer.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

NBA rumors: Porzingis wasn't psyched about possibly playing with Kevin Durant

NBA rumors: Porzingis wasn't psyched about possibly playing with Kevin Durant

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On Jan. 31, the Knicks agreed to trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks.

The move shocked most of the basketball world, because the 23-year old was the face of the franchise.

His time in New York, however, was filled with turmoil and he wasn't shy about voicing his displeasure with the state of the most valuable team in the league.

Hours before he was shipped to Dallas, Porzingis told Knicks management that he "no longer wanted to be a part of our group," team president Steve Mills told reporters shortly after the trade.

Was there anything in particular that cemented the Latvian's feelings about his future (or lack thereof) in the Big Apple? 

Well, there is a new piece of information that just might be very interesting to Warriors fans. On the most recent episode of The Lowe Post Podcast, Lowe said the following to ESPN Knicks reporter, Ian Begley.

"There is the possibility that they (the Knicks) got the sense that he wasn't psyched of how aggressively they were going to court bigger names than him. That's possible.

"I'm confident after talking to a lot of people -- I don't think he was psyched about playing with Durant. I don't know how directly that was verbalized to the Knicks. I'm confident that it wasn't something that was like his Plan A he was super thrilled about it.

"He wanted to be the face of the franchise. I think that's known, that's fair. Kevin Durant will be the face of the franchise if he comes. That's it. That's decided. 

"There are other guys who for various reasons I don't think would be the face of the franchise. Kemba Walker would not be. You could argue Kyrie Irving would not be if he were here with Porzingis. It would be close."

First and foremost, it needs to be made clear to everybody that Lowe is not specifically reporting that sources told him Porzingis flat out didn't want to play with KD. So don't get that twisted.

However, Lowe is as connected as it gets and he wouldn't just say something like this unless there was some degree of truth. His assertion is obviously newsworthy because of the connections between the reigning two-time Finals MVP and the Knicks.

And let's be real, if the Knicks were somehow made aware of Porzingis' feelings about Durant -- and if they are confident in their chances of luring Durant away from the Warriors -- it would make perfect sense to part ways with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft in order to free up the necessary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another max-level free agent in July.

OK. That's enough for today. Have a great Friday night and we will see you tomorrow for Warriors-Rockets.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller