4 Golden State Warriors who shouldn’t return next season

Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Warriors player #2: Draymond Green

Long-time Warriors power forward Draymond Green may have just played his final season with the team. The 11-year veteran has a player option that he will probably decline, and Golden State seems unlikely to offer him a new deal. After all, they had a chance to sign him to a contract extension earlier in the season after agreeing to long-term deals with Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins. Their decision not to appears to be a sign that they plan to move on from Green.

While Golden State would miss what Green brings to the table, including his playmaking, defense, and overall intensity, letting him walk makes sense for several reasons. One is that the Warriors have the highest payroll in the NBA, and with a harsh new CBA, they may be better off looking to replace him internally or with a cheap free agent.

They could shift Wiggins to power forward and add another guard to the starting lineup, or they could potentially use Kuminga as his replacement. Kuminga, despite not playing a big role for the Warriors in the playoffs, made big strides on the defensive end this season and is still improving on that end as well as on offense. He also has two years remaining on his rookie contract, ensuring that the Warriors would save big by going with him over re-signing Green.

There would definitely be a learning curve if Golden State were to go that route, but the third season is generally when young players get the opportunity to prove themselves. With Kuminga gaining more experience and Green experiencing age-related decline, Kuminga could quickly shorten the gap between the two players.

Speaking of decline, it is probably part of the reason why Golden State opted not to sign Green to a long-term extension, along with his inability to control his emotions. That reared its ugly head when he punched teammate Jordan Poole in the face during the preseason and during the playoffs when he was suspended for stomping on Domontas Sabonis. His intensity can often be a good thing since it motivates his teammates to play harder, but it has downsides that have probably worn on the Warriors. As a result, Green could be gone this summer.