Draymond Green's passionate nature is one of the things that made him great. Ironically, it's also one of the reasons why he's not much of a fan favorite outside of the Bay area and why his days with the Golden State Warriors could come to an end.
Green, a respected and vocal leader among the team's youth, may have lost that distinction. He crossed the line by sucker-punching Jordan Poole in practice, and chances are he may never get back to where he was in the locker room.
That, plus the Warriors' salary cap situation, could force them to part ways with their four-time NBA champion after this season. According to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, a contract extension is unlikelier than ever.
NBA Rumors: Green's Future In The Bay Is Murky
(via The Athletic)
"Draymond's future with this team beyond this season is in serious doubt. He's not getting the max contract extension he wanted this summer and he may never get it. He has a player option next season; he's obviously hurt his value throughout the league with this incident, but he can re-establish a lot of it with another great season. Maybe he can re-establish it with the Warriors, too.
But there's a luxury-tax crunch hitting the Warriors in July. Team executives were already not sure they wanted to make a full recommitment to Draymond before he hit Poole. Even if they were hoping the punch would be just another blip they got past, once video went public there was no way it would ever be forgotten. It's indelible. And it's obvious that there's even less allegiance to Draymond within the Warriors' leadership now. And when and if Draymond understands that, he might start planning his exit, too."
Coach Kerr Says Green Crossed The Line
Coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that Green crossed the line and that it's not the first thing this sort of thing happens. And, while he trusts him to stay in line this season, he knows he's walking on thin ice right now:
"Any criticism that we face here is fair," Kerr told the media. "Draymond, you guys all know from covering him for a long time, he sort of lives on the edge as far as his spot on our basketball team."
"He's always right in the thick of everything, and a couple times in his career he's crossed the line," Kerr continued. "He crossed the line with Kevin whatever year that was, and he crossed the line the other night in a much worse fashion. I would hope that everybody would respect the fact that we feel like we know Draymond and this entire group very well, and that while this is not an easy decision, we feel like this is the best decision we can make going forward. I trust Draymond that he will stay on that edge and not go over it."
It's a shame to watch one of the greatest players in franchise history in this situation. But, to be fair, he's gotten multiple breaks and only has himself to blame for this. Now, whether he'll have a shot at redemption or not, remains to be seen.