Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is declining his $27.6 million player option to opt for unrestricted free agency.
Draymond Green’s move was expected. Now 33-year-old who has spent his entire 11-season career with the Warriors can discuss and also explore sign-and-trades and free agency.
Warriors’ new general manager, Mike Dunleavy Jr. said that bringing Draymond Green back was very important for the team.
“We really want Draymond back,” Dunleavy said in his introductory news conference. “What he means in terms of this organization and this team, winning at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him.
Green has been a stronghold of the Warriors’ team over the last decade after he was drafted with the 35th overall pick in 2012. The four-time All-Star who also mans the defense and is often referred to as the team’s heart and soul averaged 8.5 points on 52.7% shooting, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game this season.
During the last season, Draymond Green punched a fellow teammate, Jordan Poole, at a training camp. The incident which the Warriors coach Steve Kerr referred to at that time as the franchise’s biggest crisis during his tenure, put a strain between him and his fellow teammates.
Green admitted that the event hampered his leadership abilities and might have prevented the team from being able to perform at its full capabilities.
Head coach Steve Kerr also admitted the altercation hindered the Warriors’ season after they finished sixth in the Western Conference with a 44-38 record and was eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
Green was also suspended one game during the team’s first-round playoff series with the Sacramento Kings. According to the league, the decision was “based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts”.