Perk claims Dray could help Suns rise as 2023-24 title favorites

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Kendrick Perkins believes Draymond Green could help dethrone the 2022-23 NBA champion Denver Nuggets as the favorites to win it all again next season, but not wearing a Warriors uniform.

The former NBA champion turned ESPN analyst said if the Phoenix Suns can acquire Green this summer, they would rise as the new title favorites for the 2023-24 season.

“I know it may be a long shot, but it’s definitely a shot. If the Phoenix Suns could get Draymond Green in free agency, that would instantly make them the title favorites,” Perkins said Friday morning on “First Take”. “That is all they’re missing. I know we keep talking about what are they going to do with [Chris Paul] and if Kyrie [Irving] is going to go there, [or] James Harden. All those three guys, rightfully so.

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“But if they could get Draymond Green, that does wonders and elevates them to another level when it comes down to culture, defensively, all across the board. It would be the best thing in the world for Deandre Ayton, and we saw the difference in Kevin Durant on the defensive side of things when he played with Draymond Green. Draymond Green has this leadership and this energy that when he puts that key and that tenacity into the team, it rises to a different level.”

Green, 33, has a $27.6 million player option for next season and could choose to opt out in order to get another lucrative long-term deal.

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The four-time champion has said he wants to remain with Golden State and make a run at a fifth championship with the core group of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and himself.

Golden State’s hopes of repeating as champions last season were derailed after their second-round playoff exit, and Green said punching teammate Jordan Poole last October played a big factor in that. Rebuilding the team chemistry is a top priority for the Warriors this summer, and if the damage can’t be repaired, other options might have to come into play.

Green’s significance to the organization has been made pretty clear over the last decade. But his future is just one of the many big decisions looming over the Warriors this offseason.

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And Perkins believes he could benefit from joining former teammate Durant and three-time All-Star Devin Booker in the desert.

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