Draymond Green

Why Draymond's four-year, $100M contract is win for Warriors, fans

NBC Universal, Inc.

Savor this day, Warriors fans, and not because Draymond Green has agreed to re-sign with the only NBA franchise he has ever known.

Savor it because he’s staying with the only career-long teammates he has ever had.

Back in 2012, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were in the room to welcome Draymond the rookie and now, four championships later, all three will have at least one more season together to chase their fifth championship ring. Together in their early 20s and together, still, in their mid-30s.

This is sports as any fan should wish for – and as any organization should be allowed to maintain: Homegrown talent discovered and cultivated and generating extraordinary chemistry to become the league’s most successful franchise during their time.

Green agreeing to return to the Warriors on a four-year contract worth $100 million, with a player option in Year 4 -- sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area -- locks in the starting five that was, by net rating, the best in the NBA last season. It puts him alongside Curry for the remaining three years of Steph’s contract – a crucial element of Draymond’s deal – and at least one more run with Klay.

It also puts squarely on the table the question that will hover over the Warriors from the moment training camp opens.

Can Steph-Dray-Klay find one more magical postseason?

There is no doubt Golden State’s 2023-24 season is NBA championship-or-bust. How else to explain the addition of 38-year-old Chris Paul, a former rival who arrives with one fully guaranteed season on his contract as perhaps the league’s ultimate medical/training staff Frankenstein experiment?

Moreover, how to explain the abandoning the plan that only one year ago was laid out as Golden State’s exciting future? James Wiseman was abandoned last February after playing 60 games over three years and 1.5 seasons. The Warriors decided last week to send away youngsters Jordan Poole and Patrick Baldwin Jr.?

Yes, there was a time when people at Chase Center visualized a possible 2027 starting five featuring with Wiseman, Poole and Baldwin joining Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody – each of whom would be his 20s.

With Draymond’s return, the average age of Golden State’s starting five on opening night will be 31.8 years old.

One year removed from a 2022 NBA Finals victory and seven weeks removed from a second-round dismissal in the 2023 playoffs, every move the Warriors make is a statement of belief in players with proven track records.

“The core group of guys, led by Steph Curry, is at an incredibly high level,” incoming general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said last week. “For that reason, we feel we have a chance to always be knocking on the door.

“The rest of the roster going on down the line is a group that probably needs to be better about playing together and connecting, so that's something we'll look to solve for this off-season.”

The rest of the roster will fall into place in the coming hours and days.

In the first hour of free agency, however, the Warriors accomplished the goal they prioritized. They resigned Draymond on a deal that satisfies both parties; his 2023-24 salary should shave about $40 million off their luxury tax bill.

Keeping the Steph-Dray-Klay core together, despite a collective bargaining agreement with financial ramifications unfriendly to the ambitious Warriors, is a win for an organization dialed into the immediate.

It’s also a win for a fan base that has been energized by accomplishments of this particular core.

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