Stephen A. Smith: Draymond Green expecting this to be last year with Warriors and wants to be on Lakers

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

In the wake of Draymond Green’s controversial scuffle with Jordan Poole last week, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes that Green expects to leave the Golden State Warriors and wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

Smith offered his thoughts (beginning at the 2:01 mark) on “First Take” and explained why he believes that scenario will take place.

“I can tell you right now, [Andrew] Wiggins and Poole are a priority,” Smith said. “I can tell you right now that Draymond Green is expecting this to be his last year in Golden State. Now, he wanna be a Laker. He ain’t gonna tell anybody that, but don’t think I don’t know. He’d prefer to be a Laker if he gotta leave Golden State.

“But he looking for a payday. He gonna get $25 million this year. He got a player option for $24 million next year. The Warriors are probably hoping he don’t opt in because they’d have to pay him on top of the cats that they know that they gotta pay in Poole and Wiggins.”

The dispute with Poole might have brushed over had video of the incident not surfaced. The scuffle came during a Warriors practice.

After the furor raised by the conflict, Green indicated that he would temporarily step away from the team. The Warriors and Lakers are set to open their respective regular seasons against each other on Oct. 18.

Green was selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft and has blossomed into a standout forward who’s destined for a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Combining defense and rebounding, Green has been a central part of the Warriors’ four NBA titles over the past decade.

However, Green’s long-term future may not be with the Warriors, who are already paying massive annual salaries to their starting backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Poole is set to begin his fourth season after the Warriors selected him with the 28th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. During his first two campaigns, Poole was primarily used off the bench.

However, during the 2021-22 regular season, Poole started 51 of his 76 games. In those 76 contests, he averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Poole is only 23 and in a position to sign a lucrative contract extension with the Warriors. Green may see a future with the Warriors evaporate as a result of the incident.

The Lakers would no doubt welcome the talents of Green despite his past baggage. Of course, the problem of finding a way to fit his contract into the team’s already tight salary cap serves as the major roadblock for any such acquisition.

For now, the Lakers are trying to focus on the upcoming season and possibly dreaming that Green somehow ends up wearing purple and gold next year.

Share This Article
Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.