In a recent interview, head coach Steve Kerr referred to Draymond Green‘s contract ending with Golden State and how badly the Bay Area franchise need to have him back if they plan to contend for the title next campaign.
According to the trainer, the 33-year-old’s lasting impact on the roster goes all the way from his teamwork mindset, his dedication to nurture the younger player, and even incidents like him punching Jordan Poole in a preseason practice.
From @TheAthletic: Warriors coach Steve Kerr was blunt about Draymond Green and the future of the team. He said the Warriors are not a title contender if they lost Green, but said the preseason punch “compromised” the season. https://t.co/zJKfkKGEVR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 17, 2023
“If Draymond is not back, we’re not a championship contender,” Kerr said bluntly at his season-ending press conference this Tuesday. “We know that. He’s that important to winning and to who we are. I absolutely want him back.”
The player’s future is still on hold as the Warriors face many questions over contract renewals and salary budgets during the summer, after the team was eliminated from the Western Conference’s semifinal stage against the Los Angeles Lakers.
As of now, the veteran star has a $27.6 million player option for the upcoming tournament, but could perfectly choose to opt if he’s looking to land a long-term deal somewhere else, even though he’s said plenty of times how loyal he is to the San Francisco franchise.
“He knows that he had a great season this year, from a basketball perspective, but he knows that he also compromised things by what happened back in October,” Kerr admitted. “So part of him coming back next year has to be about rebuilding some of that trust and respect that he’s earned here for a long period of time.
One thing I love about Draymond is he’s always brutally honest, and he can take that sort of critique because he knows it’s the truth. I want him back. I think we all want him back.”
The trainer recalled how Green punching teammate Poole really hurt the collective culture inside the Golden State roster, and even though the season began on the wrong track, eventually they found a strong version of themselves that took them to the playoffs.
“Anytime some trust is lost, then it makes the process much more difficult, and there was some trust lost,” Kerr said. “That’s as blunt as I can be.”
Kerr also referred to the generational shift from players like Klay Thompson to younger talents like Jonathan Kuminga
The four-time champion coach is well aware that second-year players Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody weren’t able to consolidate their roles in the team, as none of them were crucial to his strategy during the most important matches of postseason.
“You’re trying to raise young guys and teach them good habits and teach them how to win, and you’re hoping your veteran players can help mentor those guys, and you put all that stuff in place,” Kerr explained.
“Last year we won the championship, this year we lost in the second round, so you can fit the narrative however you want, but every year is going to present different challenges, and you just have to meet those and do everything you can to help the team.”
Check out Draymond’s reactions to his coach’s comments on his importance to the club:
As Kerr’s contract is entering his final year and general manager Bob Myers’ is close to terminate, the coach remains confident that the team’s management will continue as it is for the future.
“Right now Bob’s contract situation is number one because that influences a lot of the player decisions that have to be made, contracts, draft, free agency, ” he said. “We will get to my stuff whenever that happens, and I’m in no rush for that.”