Warriors

Why Draymond Green contract extension is right move for him, Warriors

Why Draymond Green contract extension is right move for him, Warriors

The clock is ticking. The Warriors, as a franchise, know it. Draymond Green, as their power forward/point forward/center, knows it.

It was accepted a couple years ago that it was unreasonable to expect Draymond to sustain his relentless full-throttle, court-scorching intensity over a long career. At some point, maybe in his early 30s, the juice would dry up and battery would begin to resist recharging.

But Green’s stellar performances in the postseason reminded everyone that he still has it when his teammates really need it.

The Warriors recognized this and concluded that Green has been too important to next season as a lame duck. He deserved better. He has earned so much more.

To be determined was whether Draymond was willing to extend his contract beyond 2020, even at the expense of upwards of $100 million.

That question was answered Saturday, when Green and the Warriors agreed on an extension worth roughly $100 million over four seasons, beginning in 2020-2021.

Why would Green, who could have doubled that total with a five-year max next summer, offer himself at such a discount? Because he knows the clock is ticking. His body reminds him after every game, and it clobbers him with that reality after every season.

“When I finish the playoffs every year, I’m exhausted — and more so mentally than physically, because I view these games like life or death,” Green said during the Western Conference finals in May.

Green, 29, already has taken steps during the 82-game regular season to preserve himself for the postseason. He picks his spots to save energy in January in hopes of having it in April, May and June. It’s a ploy other vets utilize, but is that rare player that wears multiple hats at both ends of the court.

But who else is asked to fill roles of chief playmaker and primary paint protector? Particularly when, at a generously listed 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, his physique is not ideally suited for either?

That Draymond is so terrific at multitasking explains his rise from second-round draft pick to NBA All-Star and, moreover, a pillar of a team that has made five consecutive trips to The Finals, coming away with three championships.

If there is anything Warriors CEO Joe Lacob wants the world to know, it is that he is willing to put money into the product. Being associated with cheapness is the fastest route to NBA mediocrity, or worse, so he grabs a bullhorn to shout his message that this is one franchise committed to maintaining its reputation as a first-class operation.

Understand, the Warriors are spending now to potentially save later. That’s called investing.

Though the Warriors see next season as one in which development is more crucial than contending — though the playoffs remain a priority — they firmly believe they’ll be back among the elite in 2020-2021.

They’re not ready to believe they rejoin the elite without having Draymond alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, maybe D’Angelo Russell and whomever else becomes an integral part of the rotation.

The Warriors also know their best chances at winning championships require everything they can get from Green. The defense, the passing, the rebounding, the massive emotional spark only he could provide.

[RELATED: Draymond has chance to prove Dubs can win without KD]

There is no knowing how many more seasons Green will be able to put his signature on games, particularly in the postseason. The Warriors don’t know and neither does Draymond.

Both know he can do it now, which makes this extension a smart move by both parties.

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

If you ask most fans, they would say Steph Curry's greatest strength is his shooting ability.

After all, the Warriors' point guard owns the single-season NBA record for 3-pointers made. He's a few years away from owning the all-time record for most made triples.

But for future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, Curry's greatest strength comes when he actually doesn't have the basketball in his hands.

During an Instagram Live chat, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade were asked to comment on current NBA players. When they got to Curry, Union started.

"So everybody talks about, obviously Steph can shoot," Union said. "I mean, Steph is ... Steph Curry is one of those people, everything you imagine Steph Curry is, he actually is in real life."

Wade continued that thought and then offered his analysis of Curry.

"He is the nicest person in the world," Wade said. "But one of Steph's greatest strengths that a lot of people ... some people, but a lot of people don't because they talk about all the threes and ball-handling is Steph never stops moving off the ball. You guys see when Steph gives the ball up, that's when he's his most dangerous. And that's crazy to think, right? Because when he has the ball, he's unguardable.

"But when he does not have the ball, forget about it. He's like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, those guys when it comes to conditioning and shape that he's in and the way he's able to run. That's when he gets scary, when he gives the ball up."

Here's some evidence in case you need a reminder of Curry's ability to move without the basketball:

After Wade's final game against the Warriors in the Bay Area on Feb. 10, 2019, he swapped jerseys with Curry.

[RELATED: Steph, NBA facing harsh reality]

But in his last game ever against the Warriors, on Feb. 27, 2019, Wade broke Curry's heart with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

On the morning of Wednesday, March 11, the world learned that the Warriors would play the Brooklyn Nets the following night at Chase Center without any fans in the building.

The decision was made in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

So who broke the news about the situation to Golden State's players? How did they react?

David Lombardi of The Athletic has the details:

“I had to go with our general manager Bob Myers and meet with our team in the locker room after practice that day and say, ‘Hey, guys, we’re playing tomorrow night and we’re gonna be playing in an arena that has no fans in it,'” (Warriors team president) Rick Welts said, recalling that moment via videochat during a virtual sports technology conference Friday. “And the looks on our players’ faces were like, ‘What? How in the world is that gonna work?’ It was really quiet for quite a while.

“Then I think Steph Curry said, ‘Can we bring our own playlist? Can we play our own music?'”

As you all are aware, there was no music because there was no game between Golden State and Brooklyn.

Later on Wednesday, the NBA suspended the season indefinitely after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

A little over two weeks later and nobody has any clue when the next NBA game will be played.

[RELATED: What Steph, trainer talk most about during virus shutdown]

“How can sports be the place where people feel safe gathering in large numbers again?” Welts said. “I do think this is a little different than what we’ve seen in the past because I do think there’s gonna be a moment in time when the medical world tells us it’s OK to resume normal life. I think there’s a second psychological part of it, though.

“When are people going to truly feel comfortable and safe doing that? Am I really going to be comfortable putting myself in that environment with 18,000 other people at Chase Center to go watch a game? I’m not so sure those two things will happen at the same time.”

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