NBA free agency starts before July 6, but Draymond Green clearly has that date circled on his calendar.
That’s when Green could become an unrestricted free agent and the complex business decisions will have to be made by the Golden State Warriors.
“If you don’t get to know the business, then you can be blind and be, like, ‘Oh man, everything I’ve done, I thought I’d be there forever.’ Green said this week in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks.
“I would love to be [with the Warriors forever]. [But] I understand the luxury tax. I understand that you have put these young guys and the contracts on and they have to be paid. I understand all this. And so, just for me, that’s what I mean by the writing on the wall.”
At the end of this season, Green will likely decline his $27.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent. At that point the Warriors will be tasked with fitting Green onto a roster that will already cost $354 million in 2022 after luxury tax penalties.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob has expressed reluctance to continue this wild spending spree on the teams roster. Next year, the Warriors have $214 million in committed salary (including Green) before taxes, $97.65 million above the salary cap.
“[That kind of payroll is] it’s not possible without losing a lot of money on the bottom line, let’s put it that way.” Lacob said in a recent interview with The Athletic. “I said that [a $400 million payroll is not possible], and it is, from a business perspective, an almost crazy thing to consider. But I think we’ll have to wait and see because the truth wins out.”
After the 2023-24 season, the Warriors will also have to settle contracts for Klay Thompson and James Wiseman with Moses Moody and Jonathan.
Kuminga will soon follow.
The Warriors’ Big 3 of Steph Curry, Thompson and Green have an incredible 287-66 record in 2014, per StatMuse. They also led a record 73-9 season in 2016 and four NBA titles.