Draymond Green

How Draymond helped Dubs prepare for KD pursuit before extension

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While many were shocked that the Warriors were able to land then-Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016, Draymond Green had been preparing for over a year prior to the signing.

During an appearance on the “7PM in Brooklyn” podcast with Carmelo Anthony and Kid Mero, Green explained that he had restructured his contract in 2015 to make sure the Warriors had enough salary cap space to sign Durant.

“When I signed my deal, BJ Armstrong was my agent and the conversation me and BJ had was, 'Listen, here’s your whole cap table, here’s what it is next year, the cap next year jumps to this. Look who is a free agent next year, KD. I know he wants to get out of OKC,' ” Green recalled.

“‘I knew too, it was like the worst kept secret. So, he said, ‘I know this, and I know y’all would be of interest [to Durant], so here’s what you can take, and you’ll still be able to pay him [a max contract].’ ”

Green went on to explain during these contract negotiations with his agent, he made sure that his new deal would allow the team to have the necessary cap space to make a blockbuster deal with Durant work out.

“And the [contract] number was [five years, $85 million] and he handed me a blank sheet of paper and was like, ‘Alright, write down the number that you want and go get it.' And for some dumb reason, I was like, OK, 82 [million], I didn’t quite understand that even if they gave me that $3 million, that they couldn’t take it and give it to somebody else.

“So that was it, that was the conversation a whole summer before KD came as a free agent.”

With Durant on board, the Warriors were on top of the NBA, winning back-to-back championships and Durant earning two NBA Finals MVP awards. Freak injuries to Durant and Klay Thompson prevented Golden State from winning their third consecutive title in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors before an acrimonious departure split the group.

Seldom is a team like the Warriors -- filled to the brim with stars and big contracts -- able to sign someone of Durant’s stature without having to let multiple players go.

Durant departed for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, his relationship with Green having been strained after an infamous altercation during the 2018-2019 season, but the episode remains one of the most unprecedented moments in league history.

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