Two years ago, the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA by signing former MVP, Kevin Durant to play alongside a team that previously finished the season with a record-breaking 73-9 record. What if I told you the Warriors have another chance to break the NBA this season, this time through subtraction instead of addition?
The Warriors are clearly in panic mode. The unpredictable Draymond Green just told one of the best players in NBA history that they don’t need him anymore and that he should get lost. Characteristically, Durant took offense to Green’s comments, and rumors have been swirling that the man that broke the NBA two years ago may be moving on after achieving his first career NBA championship in the bay.
While Draymond Green was a major key to the Warriors’ early success, the acquisition of Kevin Durant has played Draymond almost entirely out of the role that made him so successful with Golden State. His job was to anchor the defense while making plays for shooters on offense, not scoring the basketball.
Kevin Durant is capable of and does everything that Draymond Green used to do in his prime. Not only can Durant defend and make plays, but he’s also potentially the greatest pure scorer in NBA history.
With Durant clearly better than Draymond Green, the Warriors should potentially look to move on from Green who was drafted by the team back in 2012. Freeing up Draymond’s contract also allows the Warriors to be a threat in free agency once again, so let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios for a possible Draymond Green trade.
Draymond Green to the New Orleans Pelicans
Warriors Receive: Nikola Mirotic, 2019 First Round Pick, 2021 Second Round Pick
Pelicans Receive: Draymond Green
After the Pelicans started the season a four-game winning streak, the team built around Anthony Davis has been struggling as of late. At risk of falling out of the playoff race, the Pelicans are always open to trading for a star big man like they did a couple years ago with Demarcus Cousins. While that trade wasn’t perfect, Draymond Green can perfectly fill the role played by Mirotic, while also relieving Jrue Holiday of ball-handling duties, allowing him to play off-ball. For the Warriors, Nikola Mirotic is a much cheaper option who arguably fits better in with their pace-and-space offense. A spot up stretch four in the Warriors’ system could put up monster numbers.
Draymond Green to the Indiana Pacers
Warriors Receive: Thaddeus Young, Cory Joseph, 2019 First Round Pick
Pacers Receive: Draymond Green
The Pacers had a crazy breakout season last year led by none other than Victor Oladipo. The mold of this team reminds me a lot of their Western counterparts in Utah: the Jazz. The Jazz have Donovan Mitchell who plays the role of Oladipo in Utah, but the Pacers are missing their Rudy Gobert. Draymond Green immediately improves the Pacers’ defense, without having to give up anything too notable in return. With the 76ers trading for Jimmy Butler, the Celtics and Raptors improving every day, and the Bucks breaking out this season, the Pacers need to make a move to remain in the conversation for the finals.
Draymond Green to the Phoenix Suns
Warriors Receive: Mikale Bridges, Ryan Anderson, 2019 First Round Pick, 2022 Second Round Pick
Suns Receive: Draymond Green, Jacob Evans
To me, this seems like a no-brainer for each team. The Suns have had a very disappointing season, currently in last place in the Western Conference. While Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton have each had great starts to the season, averaging 24 and 17 points respectively, the Suns’ offense is missing a fluidity that Draymond Green could easily bring. Booker currently plays the primary playmaker role in Phoenix, and with help from Draymond Green, he could return to the old Booker that we all know and love. The Warriors receive an unbelievable first round pick that could give them the ability to select Zion Williamson or another player to replace and even improve on Draymond Green, inevitably breaking the NBA for the second time.
Draymond Green to the Los Angeles Lakers
Warriors Receive: Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Lakers Receive: Draymond Green
At first glance, the trade makes absolutely no sense. The Lakers should be looking to save money going into the offseason, and the chances of Lebron James and Draymond Green getting along are just about as good as the chances of Kevin Durant and Draymond getting along. If this works out in the Warriors’ favor, this could be the ultimate chess move for Golden State. Imagine this scenario. Draymond Green joins up with the Lakers and essentially poisons the organization to the point where the Lakers are nowhere near the Warriors in the playoff race. The Warriors now have an easier road to finals. The upside on the Lakers’ point of view is also amazing, however. Draymond Green and Lebron James together? Potentially a match made in heaven, could also be a match made in hell.