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Are you ready for potential chaos this week?
What’s next for Draymond?
Green to explore free agency
Draymond Green’s agent Rich Paul has been waiting to do this dance in free-agent negotiations for his client for a while. After declining his $27.5 million player option, the 33-year-old Green will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. He’s never been on the open market before, except in the podcast world. And this is where things get tricky.
One of the more nuanced conversations about Green and his career is finding out what he means to winning basketball. The Warriors swear by his impact, as they should. He has been their entire defensive system, built by his own genius and assistant coach Ron Adams. Offensively, he has been the facilitator, and far too many opponents focus on his 8.7 points per game. match. Scoring and shooting aren’t issues because he’s rarely tricked into taking a bad shot.
Steve Kerr has been adamant about appreciating Green and having him back. Green’s teammates know how integral he is to getting them in positions to win. The Warriors don’t win titles without Green’s presence, and he’s nearly impossible to replace. So if Joe Lacob and company are still looking to become title contenders, then Green has the ability to negotiate from a place of power.
Here are some Draymond options to consider:
- Lakers: Green loves LeBron James and talks about him constantly, and that kind of depth for the interior would make this defense unstoppable. But it feels like a logistical stretch.
- Sacramento: It might be a little awkward considering he stomped on Domantas Sabonis’ chest two months ago, but that’s the guy the Kings need on defense to tie it all together. Not that far and there is a relationship with Mike Brown. However, there is no hood space.
- Dallas: The Mavs desperately need someone like Green to direct the defense and turn Luka Dončić into an off-ball weapon. He also creates a culture that the Mavs have failed to build. However, Dallas has no cap space or attractive pieces to dangle in a sign-and-trade.
- Houston: The Rockets could potentially have room to make a massive offer if it’s about the money. But he’s not going to fit the young guys, and James Harden would have to come back with others to make it attractive.
- Utah: The Jazz certainly have the cap room and flexibility to add some significant players if they want to. They have big draft picks to dangle in trades to acquire players. But their roster isn’t what it needs to be to compete.
- Portland: Green is exactly what the Blazers need to make it work with Damian Lillard, but the Blazers don’t exactly have a great direction right now. They are stuck between a rebuild and finding ways to put a team around Dame.
- Golden State: Maybe Green won’t get the maximum from the Warriors, but the security of a three- or four-year deal around $25 million per season makes sense for both parties. I just don’t see Green ultimately leaving without a contending team as a viable option.
Marcus Thompson II: Mike Dunleavy steps into the Warriors role with a heap of expectations
The latest from Shams
It’s time for the front offices
We’re about 34 hours away from the NBA Draft, and all the focus and attention from decision makers around the league is on one of the most important roster-making days of the year.
After a lot of activity with this weekend’s Bradley Beal deal, we are now in the eye of the storm. My calls around the league this week have been with decision makers who are in the final stages of finalizing their draft boards and setting up whiteboards filled with trade scenarios, knowing that the draft itself is what will spark the next wave of moves.
I expect a draft night filled with deals that will likely feature more pick swaps than players on the move. But this is a very fluid situation that can change from minute to minute. Once the draft day dust settles, teams will have a much better idea of where they stand, and I fully expect more deals to be made as we head into the start of free agency at 6:00 PM ET on June 30.
Back to you, Zach.
Why is Beal acting now?
As Shams reported this week, the Wizards had more than just the poo poo from the Suns to choose from when it came to disposing of their franchise star Bradley Beal. Miami, Milwaukee and Sacramento were all in the mix to try to get him. Phoenix won despite not having a first-round pick to include.
So how did it happen?
Washington would have you believe it didn’t have a choice. Beal owned a no-trade clause and ultimately had the final say over any deal thrown the Wizards’ way. And it’s true. He could have vetoed any move, no matter how good, if his goal was to get to Phoenix.
My question: Did the Wizards have to trade Beal this summer? What was the rush? Was it just to start the rebuild now that Michael Winger is in charge? Rushing into it left them with subpar assets in return. Beal isn’t exactly a “rock the boat” type of guy. Patience could have been. If it was just doing justice to Beal, that’s a semi-reasonable explanation. But it’s also not good practice for your team’s future.
My favorite wing/forwards
Everyone loves wings! They drive much of what happens on the field and the versatility that wings and even forwards can provide in the modern game is instrumental in how teams and coaches frame how they want to play out there.
Yesterday I broke big things. Today, here are my favorite wing/forward prospects heading into Thursday’s draft, with one prospect I’m not quite buying:
(Sam Vecenie’s NBA Draft Guide big board ranking in parentheses)
5. Kris Murray (17), Iowa: Murray is a smart player with great size and I believe he can accelerate his shooting and become a big threat from deep.
4. Cam Whitmore (3), Villanova: He does nothing but score. I still think Whitmore will be a lot of fun in the NBA.
3. Brandon Miller (4), Alabama: I have concerns about the shot and how he played against top contenders, but Miller’s potential is too high not to love.
2. Taylor Hendricks (7), UCF: He needs to improve as a creator, but Hendricks will be a monster in the NBA.
1. Bilal Coulibaly (12), France: I know Victor Wembanyama was a draw in his team but the more I see Coulibaly the more I think he will steal.
I just don’t get it: Brice Sensabaugh (18), Ohio State. He’s a questionable defender and I’m afraid he’s not explosive enough at this level.
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Our front office insider John Hollinger reveals his mock draft.
Here’s a question: How much involvement does Isiah Thomas have with the Suns?
This Zion Williamson situation in New Orleans has a lot of tension and awkwardness.
Thursday is a big night for Alabama basketball. Does the program know what to do next?
Believe it or not, Michael Shearer is having a better moment this season than Sacramento turning on the beam.
(Photo of Draymond Green: Jane Tyska / Digital First Media / East Bay Times via Getty Images)