Draymond Green's recent one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team was the result of him challenging Kevin Durant to leave in free agency during the verbal altercation between the two players, according to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
The argument between Durant and Green began on the court during the Warriors loss to the Clippers on Monday night after Green failed to pass the ball to Durant in the closing seconds of the game, and reportedly continued in the locker room afterward.
"But what ultimately led to Green's suspension, sources said, was a remark in which he dared Durant to bolt in free agency next summer. Durant has a player option for the 2019-20 season, and the Warriors want their superteam intact for the opening of their new arena, the Chase Center, in San Francisco next season.
Green blurted to Durant something along the lines of, 'We don't need you. We won without you. Leave,' sources said.
That stance couldn't be any further from how the franchise views its odds of competing for titles in the future without Durant. The Warriors desperately want to re-sign the 7-foot small forward, and such a divisive incident in front of the entire team from one of their most influential players was deemed grounds for discipline."
The Warriors obviously don't want to lose Durant in free agency next summer, and the decision to suspend Green was certainly made with that in mind. While Durant isn't interested in discussing the incident, Green is looking to move forward.
"Kevin and I spoke. We're moving forward," Green said prior to the game against the Rockets on Thursday night, via ESPN. "I think there's no secret that I am an emotional player. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I play with that same emotion. Sometimes it gets the best of me and it doesn't work to my favor."
Despite Green's eagerness to move on, Durant's free agency will continue to be the elephant in the Warriors locker room. Durant signed a two-year deal with the Warriors worth $61.5 million in July, including a player option for the second season that he could turn down in favor of unrestricted free agency. When it comes to his upcoming free agency, the two-time Finals MVP has money on his mind.
"I am thinking about the money I'm going to get," Durant told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic in October. "I never got the (massive) deal. I've just seen a bunch of dudes around the league making so much money -- and I'm happy for them.
"But I know I deserve that, too. That's the only thing I'm probably thinking about, to be honest."