Draymond Green’s four-year, $100 million maximum extension with the Golden State Warriors will reportedly feature a player option for the final year. Green can elect for free agency in the summer of 2023, should he wish, or he can play out the 2023-24 season on the final year of his contract.
The news was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Golden State's Draymond Green has become first Warriors star in dynasty to receive player option on a long-term deal, with ability to opt out of four-year, $100M extension in 2023, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 5, 2019
The option is especially interesting because the Warriors did not give one to Steph Curry or Klay Thompson when they signed their max contracts. Player options are player-friendly additions to a contract, so it’s a win for Green to get one built into his new deal.
There are few potential reasons for why the Warriors were willing to give Green a player option when they would not do the same for Curry or Thompson. The most likely is as a gesture of gratitude and/or a compromise for Green taking something of a discount.
While Green’s extension is for the maximum, he would have been eligible for a dramatically more lucrative max contract if he waited until his current deal ran up in 2020, and signed a new contract then. Had he made an All-NBA team or been named Defensive Player of the Year - two things he’s already done before - he even would have been eligible for the supermax.
Instead, he took the guaranteed money now, signing an extension that is one year and $90 million less than what Thompson received, and one year and $101 million less than what Curry got. By potentially leaving so much money on the table, it’s only fair that Green at least get a player-friendly option at the end of the contract.
The other potential reason for the option is that Green is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, an agent well known for fighting to get the best possible deals for his clients. Paul could have played hardball - if he told Bob Myers and the Warriors that Green would test free agency in 2020 if they didn’t include an option, then Golden State would have been foolish to do anything but offer up the contract that they did.
Ultimately, the contract seems to work for both sides. The Warriors get to keep their core, and get Green at a discounted price. And Green still gets a nice paycheck, with a little player flexibility, and - after watching Thompson and Kevin Durant suffer severe injuries at the end of the year - can play the season with the security of knowing his bag has already been secured.