Draymond Green hasn’t been with the Golden State Warriors since December 13. He’s coming back to their practice facility soon.
Golden State’s Draymond Green — on an indefinite league suspension since Dec. 13 — is expected to return to the Warriors’ facility in the coming days to start ramping up to resume play again, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2024
The NBA specified a process for Green to return to playing basketball, which includes therapy and periodic check-ins over Zoom. He’s apparently done well enough that he’s allowed to return to the team facilities, suggesting that he’ll be back in a few games.
News reports suggested that Green would miss 11-to-13 games, and this would support that timetable. Missing 13 games would mean Green would return for the January 10 game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the last in the Warriors’ seven-game home stand.
That also means that Steve Kerr has yet another decision to make in his rotations, in a year full of them. Jonathan Kuminga has thrived as Green’s replacement as the starting power forward, averaging 14.5 points and shooting 56% since being elevated to the starting lineup. Gary Payton II’s expected 2-3 week absence with a hamstring strain eases the glut of players, but it’s still been hard for players like Moses Moody or Cory Joseph to get minutes.
Could there be a trade coming, where Golden State ships out multiple players for one big upgrade? Could former starters like Andrew Wiggins or Kevon Looney get a change of scenery? Can Kerr figure out how to play Kuminga and Wiggins at the same time? Will the Warriors be confident enough in Green’s ability to avoid suspensions and ejections to rely on him going forward?
But there’s no doubt the team misses Green’s defense, especially against players like Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, who they’ll face without Draymond Thursday night. As much of a problem he’s been with his behavior, Green has been excellent when he can stay on the court.
No matter what, Green looks to be back in about a week. That is, as long as Deepak Chopra approves of his progress.