After Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors couldn’t allow to lose another All-Star, so they gave Draymond Green a four-year, $100 million max contract extension. With one year and $18 million left on his current deal, Green is now under contract for five more seasons at $118 million in total.
Draymond Green would have reached unrestricted free agency next summer where he would have been eligible for a four-year deal worth a projected $152.6 million from other teams. However, he has decided to stay with the Warriors, meaning he left over $50 million on the table.
But he had good reason for doing so. He just watched two of his teammates suffer potentially career-altering injuries during the NBA Finals. Also, Green had his lowest scoring, rebounding and assist numbers since becoming a full-time starter this season, and his defense lacked the usual consistency as well. Considering his age and reliance on athleticism, Green probably thought it all through and realized he could begin to decline sooner rather than later.
By signing this deal now, he not only secures an enormous contract, but locks in Golden State’s core for at least three more seasons.
With Green’s contract extension, next year’s already weak free-agent crop just got even slimmer. Besides the retired Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, only three 2018-19 All-Stars are eligible for free agency next summer. Anthony Davis is expected to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, LaMarcus Aldridge has a partial guarantee with the San Antonio Spurs and while Kyle Lowry is a fully unrestricted free agent, he will be 34 years old when he hits the market.
That leaves restricted free agents like Pascal Siakam and Caris LeVert as the top players available. As for the unrestricted free agents, the class is led by Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Derrick Favors, Danilo Gallinari and Goran Dragic. Unless some blockbuster trades happen, it looks like next summer is going to be far quieter than this one was.
That suits the Warriors just fine. They are currently the only team in basketball with four stars. They still need some reshaping to do to the rest of their roster, but once Thompson returns to full strength, they should be in the championship mix for years to come.