As much as the Warriors faced a dilemma this offseason trying to figure out if they could afford to retain Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II, Golden State’s free agent choices in 2023 will be just as costly, if not more, once Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins can hit the market.
The Warriors decided to go all in on maximizing their championship window by keeping their “foundational six” around and choosing to develop Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman by throwing them in the fire after deciding to let Porter Jr., Payton, and Juan Toscano-Anderson walk away to the Raptor, Trail Blazers, and Lakers respectively.
Column on my pre-camp conversation with Warriors president Bob Myers…https://t.co/A4eNHKKBeD
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) September 16, 2022
The Warriors have yet to come to terms with a deal with Green, Poole, and Wiggins this summer. Wiggins can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, Poole can become a restricted free agent next July if he doesn’t sign a rookie extension by Oct. 17 per rookie extension rules, and Green can become a free agent if he decides to opt out of the current deal he’s currently on.
When Bob Myers was asked about keeping Wiggins and Poole, Myers included Green in his question, making it clear that he wanted to keep “all three as long as we can have them.”
“I think with both those guys and Draymond, the goal, we want all three as long as we can have them,” Myers said, per The Athletic. “We’ve had conversations with all three players, their representatives. I’m not going to get into the likelihood or not of any of them getting done. But we know how important they are — I don’t know that we win a championship last year if you take any of them away. Draymond, his pedigree here, he’ll go down as one of the best Warriors ever to put on a uniform.
“So we know the value of all those guys. Too early for me to say what will happen or won’t happen. But the goal is to keep those guys, all three of them, as long as we can. But again, there’s financial components.”
Being able to sign Green, Poole, and Wiggins will be a costly endeavor for the Warriors. Golden State currently has a $380 million payroll; unless the Warriors make cuts, Poole’s extension will take them over $400 million during the 2023-24 season. A scenario that Warriors owner Joe Lacob doesn’t see as “remotely possible.”
If there are any cuts to make, fans would think that Draymond Green fits that role as someone who doesn’t produce monster numbers. However, Stephen Curry wants to play the remainder of his career with Green, who is a part of that “foundational six,” he’s consistently healthy and has embodied the Warriors’ non-positional greatness and defensive prowess since 2015.
According to Myers, the Warriors see Green as “not a guy we look at and say he’s not going to be around,” but he did leave the door open about Golden State possibly having to make a difficult decision in not re-signing Green whether or not he opts-out of his player option.
“No, no, I would definitely, unequivocally say (he’s) not a guy we look at and say he’s not going to be around,” Myers said. “Now, at some point, decisions are going to have to be made. But as far as his importance to this organization and what he’s done, we’re going to do everything we can to keep him in the fold.
“We don’t make these decisions definitively, ‘This guy’s going to be here, this guy’s not.’ We don’t do that. Because right now, we’re not making those decisions today. So everything’s on the table. And you really have to, in my position, do your best, and you owe it to the fans and the organization, to players that have helped in the way that all of those players have.
“Draymond, certainly it’s obvious to anybody what he’s done for us. I could never sit here and say, ‘Well, he’s not going to be around.’ I can’t even get the words out of my mouth.”
The Warriors will celebrate their 2022 title on Oct. 18 when they host the Lakers for ring night.
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