NBA exec posits whether Draymond could leave Dubs for Pistons originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Could Draymond Green be in a different uniform at some point in the near future?
It’s not entirely impossible, with recent reports indicating the Warriors are unwilling to grant the four-time NBA champion the max contract extension he desires.
But if not with Golden State, where could Green land?
One NBA executive who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com believes the Detroit Pistons could be a potential landing spot for the veteran forward, should the Warriors balk at extending him next summer, per Heavy.com’s Jack Simone.
The same executive, who works for a team in the Eastern Conference, also told Deveney it's believed Green has always wanted to play for his hometown Pistons at some point in his career.
“Draymond has always wanted to go there, he has always wanted to play for the Pistons,” the executive told Deveney. “And they’ll have the cap space. It’s hard to see Draymond playing anywhere else outside Golden State, but if it’s going to happen anywhere, Detroit would be a good bet.”
Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic originally reported near the end of July that Green, who has two years left on his current contract, “wants and believes he deserves” a max extension.
And while their report emphasized Green’s desire to stay in the Bay, it also noted he is “willing to explore his outside options” to land the deal he wants.
Green became eligible to sign a four-year deal on Aug. 3 and is set to be paid $25.8 million and $27.6 million over the next two seasons, the latter being a player option. Green could opt out of his deal for the 2023-24 season if his wishes aren't met by the Warriors and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He could also demand a trade.
The executive who spoke with Deveney noted Detroit would love to sign or trade for Green after missing out on the chance to draft him.
“Detroit has always wanted Draymond on that team," the executive told Deveney. "[Pistons owner Tom] Gores has always wished they had gotten him in that  draft in the second round."
Gores and Green both have ties to Michigan State, the executive explained, revealing that the Pistons wanted to give the forward an offer sheet when he was a free agent in 2015. With the Warriors ready and willing to match any offer back then, Detroit didn’t stand a chance.
But now, with Golden State in the midst of a period where Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Green are all extension eligible, the odds are tilted in another team’s favor to potentially land the outspoken star next summer.
And with the Pistons’ young core of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey ready to make an impact this season, acquiring a veteran like Green moving forward would set them up for future success.
It remains to be seen how the Warriors will handle their extension conundrum. While Steph Curry reportedly would not be happy if Green isn’t extended, a luxury tax bill of nearly half a billion dollars as a result of extending Green, Thompson, Poole and Wiggins would be a tall ask, even for owner Joe Lacob.
But even though the eventual outcome is up in the air for now, it certainly seems like the Pistons will be on high alert to see if things work out between Green and the Warriors.