Draymond Green

How Warriors GM Dunleavy is approaching Dray hitting free agency

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Mike Dunleavy Jr. made his stance on Draymond Green clear during his introductory press conference Monday as the Warriors’ new general manager.

After Green’s agent revealed Monday he declined his player option for the 2023-24 NBA season and will become an unrestricted free agent, Dunleavy addressed questions surrounding the forward's future in the Bay.

“I think Steve has said it, and I’ll reiterate: We really want Draymond back," Dunleavy said. "What he means to this organization, this team, in terms of trying to win at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him. That’s very important.”

Green declining the $27.6 million player option didn’t take the Warriors by surprise. They expected him to do so, and are motivated to work out a new deal.

It does, however, make the franchise’s long-term future more difficult to navigate. 

Green signing a new long-term deal might make it more challenging for the Warriors to retain Klay Thompson, who enters the final year of his contract in 2023-24 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The NBA's new CBA rules, which heavily penalize teams like the Warriors who operate far above the luxury tax, kick in next year.

"I think a lot can be made of all the challenges coming our way, whether it be an aging roster, a new CBA with some of the limitations there, anything else you can bring up," Dunleavy said. "We’re aware of all those things, but we also think we’re in a great place because we’ve got a competitive owner willing to spend and a group that’s really tied in, that’s got good synergy, good processes, good sound decision making.

"We feel confident we can navigate it."

Warriors owner Joe Lacob labeled continuity as one of the reasons they internally promoted Dunleavy to general manager rather than look for an answer outside the organization to replace Bob Myers.

As Dunleavy takes over the front office's reins, it appears continuity is his goal when it comes to retaining Green and the championship core in the Bay.

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