NBA insider pours cold water on Draymond Green to Lakers whispers in light of being spotted with LeBron

Jarrod Castillo
4 Min Read

Draymond Green could be staying with the Golden State Warriors after all.

On Tuesday’s episode of “Get Up,” NBA insider Brian Windhorst explained to Kendrick Perkins, Alan Hahn and Mike Greenberg why it is unlikely Green ends up with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

“First off, let me just say that Draymond’s opting out is 100 percent expected – it is not a surprise. We’ve known about it for weeks if not months,” Windhorst said. “It is a procedural move that we did not, was no issue with this happening.

“Absolutely, from what I am told, there is dialogue between the Warriors and Draymond with an intention that he would remain there.”

However, Windhorst was quick to add that the Warriors opted not to extend Green when they had the chance and currently, there is no agreement between Golden State and the 33-year-old.

Windhorst also explained how any contender in the Western Conference would gladly add a defender of Green’s caliber.

That said, contending teams often find themselves with little to no cap space, which Windhorst noted is why it is unlikely for the Lakers to sign Green, unless they want to gut their roster to sign the four-time NBA champion and former Defensive Player of the Year.

“But the problem is, for a team to be in contention usually means they don’t have appreciable cap space, and in the case of the Lakers, they would have to pretty much dump all of the players they got over the last year to open up that space,” Windhorst continued. “That is not something that Rob Pelinka, the general manager, has indicated he wants to do.”

Windhorst added that this is the predicament the Warriors find themselves in, especially with Klay Thompson entering the final year of his contract – and looking for a contract extension – and Jordan Poole’s own contract extension kicking in during the 2023-24 NBA season.

Thompson is in the final year of a five-year, $189.9 million contract extension he signed in 2019 and is set to make $43.2 million this season. Meanwhile, Poole is slated to make $27.45 million, the first year of the four-year extension he signed with the Warriors last season.

The Lakers also find themselves with little cap space, as Los Angeles has $123 million committed to seven players, making it difficult to sign players.

For context, this season’s salary cap is set at $134 million.

Ultimately, Green could choose to take a pay cut to remain with the only organization he’s ever played for or he could take a pay cut to join the Lakers.

Whatever the case might be, it will be interesting to see which route Green decides once the draft passes and the free agency period begins in earnest.

But if Windhorst is to be believed, Green likely will be playing in the Bay Area after it is all said and done.

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An L.A. native, Jarrod graduated with an M.A. in specialized journalism focusing on sports from USC. An avid NBA fan, he has since covered the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and the NBA as a whole.