As expected, Draymond Green to opt out of $27.6 million, become free agent
The question has never been, “Will Draymond Green opt out of his $27.6 million player option?” He was always going to do that and become a free agent. The questions have been where he would sign — most likely he re-signs with the Warriors, but he has options — and for how much on a team headed deep into the luxury tax.
The expected became official on Monday with multiple reports Green is declining his player option. Adrain Wojnarowski of ESPN confirmed it with Green’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
The Warriors have been motivated to sign Green on a new deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 19, 2023
Green is a free agent and there are teams that will reach out to him. For example, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are known to have interest. The challenge for the Lakers is they have no cap space to sign Green for anywhere near the number he wants (short of jettisoning Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and others, and even then it’s tight), the best they can offer outright is the mid-level exception of about $12 million a season (and the Lakers have to do a lot of maneuvering to get there), and the MLE is way below Green’s market value. The Lakers could try to arrange a sign-and-trade, but that would hard cap them and really make teambuilding difficult, plus, Los Angeles doesn’t have players they want to give up (or Golden State wants) to complete a sign-and-trade. Klutch Sports certainly has connections with the Lakers but it’s next to impossible to see them pulling this off. There are rumors about teams with cap space such as the Thunder or Rockets reaching out to Green, but does he want to leave the place he won four rings to chase a few bucks with a rebuilding team?
The most likely result is Green re-signs with the Warriors. The questions are for how many years and how much money? Green’s offensive contributions may be slipping — he averaged 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists — but he is still an All-Defensive Team player and his passing is still critical to the Warriors’ offense finding its flow, although his role as team emotional leader was shaky last season after he punched Jordan Poole. Golden State would like to give Green the security of years but for less money than he was making, maybe something in the three years, $75 million range. Green will feel that as part of the Warriors core he deserves more, but the looming luxury tax lines in the new CBA have the Warriors looking for ways to save money (Klay Thompson is extension eligible and will be asked to take a pay cut as well).
What number Green and the Warriors ultimately settle on will be interesting, but they probably will figure this out. Most likely Green will return as a Warrior next season, but by opting out, the door is at least open to other options.