Draymond Green remains away from the Warriors by mutual agreement following a vicious punch he threw at Jordan Poole during a practice. Green said all the right things publicly in admitting his mistake, what we don’t know is how the incident and that apology were received in the Warriors’ locker room.
Kevon Looney peeled back the curtain a little after Sunday’s Warriors’ preseason game against the Lakers.
“We had a lot of things happen here in my time but a lot of things usually get to stay in-house and we get to handle most of the time like that. It’s a little different with it being out in public and all the outside commotion weighing in on people’s decision or why people think…
“He’s got some work to do to get that trust back from us, but I think he’s willing to do it.”
That may be the mindset within the Warriors — Green has to earn back their trust (again), but they’re going to give him the chance to do it because he has built up four championships worth of equity. The Warriors are title contenders and Green’s defense was critical to their title run last season, from his defense against Nikola Jokic against Denver to a brilliant last couple of games of the Finals against Boston. Green is not some easy-to-replace role player for this team.
It feels like nothing is decided with Green, including his long-term future in Golden State which is the subtext for this incident. Warriors owner Joe Lacob has said that $400 million is about as high as the team can go in salary and luxury tax, and that would mean Golden State can’t extend the contracts of all three players eligible — Green, Poole and Andrew Wiggins — at the price they want. The music is going to stop and someone is not going to have a chair. That’s not going to be the 23-year-old Poole, his extension likely gets done before the season starts (Tyler Herro set his market at $30 million or so a season). Green could be the odd man out, forced to pick up his player option for next season ($27.6 million) or become a free agent.
The biggest question now for the Warriors: Will Green be back for opening night, ring night with his Warriors teammates? We’ll have to wait on that answer, too.
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Warriors’ Looney says Green has ‘work to do to get that trust back from us’ originally appeared on NBCSports.com