Is Draymond Green worth a max contract? The Warriors face a tough decision with an extension looming


It’s a big week for Draymond Green and the Warriors.

Why? Starting Wednesday, August 3, Green is eligible to sign a multi-year extension with Golden State.


It will be very interesting to see how the negotiations go. According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II, Green “wants and believes” he deserves the maximum contract extension. The Warriors, however, don’t seem to be quite on the same page.

In their report, Slater and Thompson mention that “there is no current pull on any type of extension”. Golden State’s preference right now is to delay the conversation until next summer, but that could have a ripple effect.

“Although his desire is to remain with the Warriors, Green would be willing to explore his outside options to secure the type of contract he desires,” Slater and Thompson wrote. “It’s a risk the Warriors management seem willing to take. Green playing this season with a chip on his shoulder, motivated to prove to the league that he deserves a maximum contract, could have a positive impact in the field.”

Should the Warriors just give Green the extension he’s looking for to keep the feathers from getting ruffled? There are a few factors to consider.

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How good is Draymond Green?

Green is a polarizing player, but there aren’t many that impact the game at the level he has.

Since being selected with the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Green has accumulated four All-Star selections, two All-NBA selections, one Defensive Player of the Year award and seven All-Defensive selections.

Sounds like a lot of All-Defensive picks, right? Only 18 players in NBA history have won more, a list that includes Tim Duncan (15), Kevin Garnett (12), Michael Jordan (9) and Dennis Rodman (8).

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Even that doesn’t do justice to Green’s defensive impact. Quite simply, he’s one of the smartest, hardest-hitting defenders to ever step foot on the basketball court, and he’s still a force in their early thirties. If injuries hadn’t limited him to 46 games in the 2021-22 season, he likely would have won his second Defensive Player of the Year award.

Who Green defended on Golden State’s road to the 2022 title tells you everything you need to know about what makes him special. He went from guarding Nikola Jokic in the first round to Jaren Jackson Jr. in the second round to Jalen Brunson in the conference finals to Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III in the finals. The numbers indicate that he has a lot of success against all of them.

If that wasn’t enough, the players shot 16.6 percentage points lower than expected in the 2022 NBA Playoffs when Green was protecting the rim. So not only does he have the strength to defend a deadly center like Jokic and the speed to keep up with a sneaky guard like Brunson, but he’s a nightmare to score against.

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Green’s impact on offense is harder to quantify. He has averaged just 7.4 points per game since the 2018-19 season and the fact that he knocked down 38.8% of his 3-point attempts in 2015-16 proved to be an outlier. .

If you look at how Green’s accuracy from various shooting locations compares to other players at his position on Cleaning The Glass, you’ll see a lot of blue, which means he’s below average.

It’s obviously a problem that’s likely only going to get worse as he gets older, but Green makes up for some of his scoring and shooting limitations with his passing.

There is something to be said for knowing one’s weaknesses. Would the Warriors benefit from Green sometimes looking to score more? Sure, but the hits he doesn’t take usually go to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who are two of the greatest shooters in NBA history.

Green’s chemistry with Curry in particular is nearly unmatched. They are a punishing duo that capitalizes on every little mistake.

There are other things Green does that don’t show up in the box score, Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals being a prime example. Although his stats were nothing out of the ordinary, his fingerprints were all over the game. Sure, he pushed the envelope, but the intensity and physicality he brought rubbed off on everyone on the Warriors.

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Draymond Green contract details

Green signed a four-year, $100 million extension with the Warriors ahead of the 2019-20 season. He’s on the books for $25.8 million in 2022-23 and he has a player option worth $27.6 million in 2023-24. This means he could be an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season.

According to Slater and Thompson, the maximum extension Green can sign with the Warriors is four years, $138.4 million.

Draymond Green’s contract
2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
Draymond Green $25,806,469 $27,586,225 (purchase order) UFA

Purchase order = Player option

UFA = unrestricted free agent

How much is Draymond Green worth?

TSN’s Steph Noh has built a model to evaluate player contracts. You can read all about this topic here.

Assuming Green plays 2,100 minutes next season, Noh’s model values ​​Green at $31.0 million, slightly more than he will earn. Green didn’t come close to hitting that total minutes last season and Noh’s model doesn’t factor in age decline, but even a 20% drop would value him at $27.8 million.

This raises another important question.

What are models saying about Draymond Green’s longevity?

It’s fair to wonder how much Green, who starts his season at 32, has left in the tank. DARKO, which Noh calls the “best public predictive model”, can provide insight.

There’s no clear apples-to-apples comparison for Green because he’s such a unique player, but Metta World Peace, Tony Allen and Ben Wallace fit the bill of defensive specialists with limited offensive plays. (To be clear, this applies to Green, Allen, and Wallace much more than Metta World Peace, but he’s still more known for his defense than his offense.)

Based on DPM, which measures a player’s overall impact on the pitch, Green had a rebounding season in 2021-22, but Metta World Peace, Allen and Wallace were each clearly on the decline at the same stage in their careers.

That should give the Warriors plenty to eat as they navigate choppy waters if they’re not careful.