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Report: Warriors expect Draymond Green to decline player option

They will do “everything in their power” to retain him.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors - Game Five Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Perhaps the biggest question heading into the offseason for the Golden State Warriors is the contract status of their defensive keystone.

Draymond Green has a $27.6 million player option left in his contract. If he decides to decline it, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent whose services as a defensive anchor and offensive decision maker could be valuable to several teams.

The questions are these: Do those teams deem it valuable enough to offer him the kind of money he might be seeking? Is Green even looking for more money? Or is he content with staying with the franchise that drafted him for a reasonable amount?

Per Andscape’s Marc J. Spears, who guested on ESPN’s NBA Today, the Warriors are expecting Green to opt out of his contract.

“The Warriors expect Draymond Green to opt out of the final year of his $26 million contract, I’m being told,” Spears said. “But Joe Lacob, (Mike) Dunleavy, the Warriors, they’re going to do everything in their power — if he does as expected — to bring him back.”

It’s important to note that Green opting out of his final year doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not coming back. The possibility that he could negotiate a new contract that’s team friendly is still on the table — perhaps one that pays him an average annual value of $20 million to $23 million.

It also could be a negotiating ploy to entice the Warriors to pay him more than the $27.6 million he would be getting this upcoming season. It will then be left to the team as to whether the kind of skill set he brings at this point of his career will be worth the money he could potentially demand.

Green is still very much an important piece, despite offensive production that has seemingly declined. The Warriors were 9.8 points per 100 possessions better on defense during his 2,298 non-garbage-time minutes on the court during the 2022-23 regular season — best among 51 qualifying bigs, per Cleaning The Glass.

Even while lacking the qualities of a traditional rim protector, Green’s presence on the floor allowed the Warriors to wall off the paint and send away attempts at the rim. Opponents shot 51.1% at the rim against Green in the regular season — third best among 51 players who defended at least four shots at the rim per game, per

If the Warriors lose Green and don’t replace his value properly, their path toward another championship could become much, much steeper.

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