A fair amount of luck went into creating the Warriors’ dynasty.
Ankle injuries led to Stephen Curry’s playing at a steep discount for four seasons.
An unprecedented cap spike helped make room for Kevin Durant.
And Draymond Green intentionally took a hit on his current deal in anticipation of Durant’s arrival.
“I took less so we could go after KD,” Green told ESPN. “I am a student of this game, and I studied the business side of it and the numbers, where some people don’t. They leave it up to their agent to do it.”
He could have signed a deal worth $94 million over five years in 2015. Instead, he took $82 million.
But don’t expect him to take a haircut on his next deal.
According to ESPN:
With two years and $36 million remaining on his deal, Green is eligible for a three-year, $72 million extension, which would start in 2020-21.
According to league sources, Green will turn the extension down when it’s offered. That’s because if he earns MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or All-NBA Team honors next season, he will be eligible for a super-max contract of five years, $226 million.
Reporter Chris Haynes added: “Sources say Green is not expected to take a pay cut on the next go-around.”
Kevin Durant is a free agent this offseason.
Klay Thompson will be one next year.
If Durant, Thompson, and Green all demand max contracts on their respective deals, with Curry already on one, the cost would be astronomical.
According to Yahoo’s cap expert Bobby Marks, the Warriors’ salary in the 2020-21 season, with those four max contracts and a roster fleshed out with players on league-minimum deals, would cost $188 million — plus another $256 million in luxury taxes. And that’s assuming Green isn’t eligible for a super-max.
Draymond’s apparently aware of this. And he seems comfortable with the idea of going elsewhere if Golden State is unwilling to pay up.
“I don’t look at it like it’s their turn to do me right. If I continue to play my game, if I continue to do better, they got to do me right, or somebody else will,” Green said.
“I did what I did because I wanted to win championships, so that’s paid off so far. Everything else will take care of itself when it’s time.”
Though it’s two years away, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year’s salary demands could spell the breakup of the Warriors’ core.
Let’s just hope they can’t find a way to replace Draymond with Anthony Davis.