Draymond Green

Stephen A. explains how Dray leaving Dubs would impact Steph

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Draymond Green will explore free agency this summer after the Warriors forward declined his $27.5 million player option for the 2023-24 NBA season.

As Green’s future in the Bay is unclear for the first time since being drafted by the team 11 years ago, many are left wondering if Golden State’s championship window would close if Green leaves the team and takes his talents elsewhere.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith didn’t stutter with his response.

“Absolutely,” Smith said Wednesday morning on “First Take." “Here’s what you're missing. You’re not taking into account the impact he has on the production of all of Steph Curry. Draymond Green defensively, we don’t even need to debate. Is he not an elite facilitator? I believe he is. When you think about Steph Curry and the load that Draymond takes off of his shoulders because he sets Steph Curry up. The man can throw places to a spot, he doesn’t even have to look there, he knows Steph Curry is going to be there.

“No one knows Steph Curry better than Draymond Green. And Steph Curry is your lethal weapon -- he's your ultimate weapon. You keep Draymond to protect Steph Curry and allow him to continue to flourish because there’s nobody that you’re going to get that’s going to have that level of chemistry and cohesion with him than Draymond Green.”

On top of what he does on the court, Smith applauded Green's leadership as the "team communicator" away from it, another job Smith says Green steps up and takes off of Curry's back.

"So we’re talking about an elite defensive player, we’re talking about a guy with an elite basketball IQ who’s a facilitator for the greatest weapon arguably in the game today, the greatest shooter god ever created, so we got all of that going on," Smith continued. "This is Draymond Green as that ultimate ideal sidekick in that regard."

Green is a four-time champion, a four-time All-Star, has made the All-Defensive Team eight times and won the Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2016-17 season. Over the last decade, he's been Golden State's floor general with the team flowing through him.

If his impact doesn't speak for itself, perhaps it speaks through Curry.

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