Only one month after losing Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors just ensured that another All-Star won't be going anywhere any time soon
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Draymond Green has agreed to a four-year, $100 million max contract extension with the Golden State Warriors, according to agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. With one year and $18 million left on his current deal, Green is now under contract for five more seasons at $118 million in total.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the final year of Green's extension is a player option, meaning that Green will have the ability to opt out of the deal after the 2022-23 season. Green is the first Warriors star from their recent run to receive a player option on a long-term deal.
Green would have reached unrestricted free agency next summer in one of the weakest classes in recent memory. There, he would have been eligible for a four-year deal worth a projected $152.6 million from other teams. Assuming he received max offers next summer, Green left more than $50 million on the table.
"We're thrilled to retain Draymond long-term as we move forward and into Chase Center," Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers said in a statement. "He's played an enormous part in shaping our organization over the last seven years. His passion and knowledge of the game are indispensable to our team. As a multi-time NBA champion he's surpassed everyone's expectations -- except his own."
But he had a good reason for doing so. He just watched two of his teammates, Durant and Klay Thompson, suffer potentially career-altering injuries during the NBA Finals. Green posted his lowest scoring, rebounding and assist numbers since becoming a full-time starter this season, and his defense in the regular season lacked the consistency fans were used to. He was excellent in the playoffs, but given his age and reliance on athleticism, Green could begin to decline sooner rather than later.
By signing this deal now, he not only secures an enormous contract, but locks in Golden State's core for at least three more seasons. Stephen Curry has three years left on his supermax deal, and his new partner in the backcourt, D'Angelo Russell, just signed a four-year pact. Green is committed for five years, just like Thompson, giving the Warriors unparalleled consistency in the modern NBA. The core of Green, Curry and Thompson has now spent seven years together. Contractually, these deals tie them together for a full decade.
With Green now signed, next year's already weak Anthony Davis is expected to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. LaMarcus Aldridge has a partial guarantee with the San Antonio Spurs, meaning they would only waive him if he declines considerably next season. Kyle Lowry is a fully unrestricted free agent, but will be 34 years old when he hits the market.just took another major hit. Besides the retired Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, only three 2018-19 All-Stars are eligible for free agency next summer.
That leaves restricted free agents like Pascal Siakam and Caris LeVert as the top players available. Among unrestricted free agents, the class is led by Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Derrick Favors, Danilo Gallinari and Goran Dragic. Unless the league is hit with a flurry of blockbuster trades, that means that next summer is likely to be far quieter than this one was.
That suits the Warriors just fine. They can now credibly claim that they are the only team in basketball with four stars. The rest of their roster needs some work, but once Thompson returns to full strength, they should be in the championship mix for years to come.