The summer of 2019 will be crucial for the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, as it will determine if they can still continue their dominance for the next couple of years. Two of their core players, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, are set to become unrestricted free agents, and both superstars are expected to demand a huge payday. Also, the Warriors could once again negotiate with Draymond Green regarding a contract extension.
According to Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated, committing a huge chunk of their salary cap space to Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant is a no-brainer for the Warriors. However, Sharp believes Draymond Green’s future in Golden State will be a “complicated discussion,” especially if he won’t take a huge discount like he did in 2015 NBA free agency. As Chris Haynes of ESPN noted, Green will be eligible to sign for a super-max contract of five years, $226 million if he earns MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or All-NBA Team honors next season.
As much as the Warriors want to keep Green on their team, it is less likely that they will be giving him that kind of money. If both parties don’t reach a contract agreement next season, Sharp suggested that Golden State may consider trading the All-Star power forward and replenish their rotation with younger, cheaper, and better role players.
Once the Warriors make Draymond Green officially available on the trading block, several NBA teams who dreamt of contending for the NBA championship title will surely express interest in adding him to their team. As Sharp noted, one of the most intriguing trade destinations for Green is the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Imagine if L.A. manages to sign one star next summer, but not two. That scenario would come just as LeBron is turning 35 years old, and he’ll probably be coming off his worst playoff finish in nearly a decade. Isn’t it conceivable that an impatient Lakers organization misses on Durant but then decides to offer a handful of younger prospects in exchange for Draymond?”
Most NBA fans will surely be thrilled to see LeBron James and Draymond Green playing together in one team. Green is an all-around player who complements well with James. Green won’t have a hard time making himself fit with the Lakers since Luke Walton uses the same coaching style as Steve Kerr. Also, his arrival in Los Angeles will make the Lakers’ dream of creating their own version of the Warriors’ “Death Lineup” possible.
However, as of now, it remains a big question if Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka will consider trading away lots of trade assets just to acquire Draymond Green from the Warriors. In the recent offseason, the Lakers refused to part ways with their young players even if it means adding Kawhi Leonard to their team. Still, lots of things can happen between now and the 2019 offseason and Green-to-Lakers rumors are expected to continue to circulate around the league.