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Greg Papa explains why Warriors should start to ‘explore’ possibility of trading Draymond

© Nell Redmond | 2021 Feb 20

At some point, Draymond Green is going to learn his lesson right?

The fiery Warriors leader had a moment to forget when he was tossed in the waning seconds of Saturday’s game vs. the Hornets while arguing with officials, who gave Charlotte a timeout in what appeared to be a jump ball situation. The problem? The Hornets were down two, and Green’s double technicals gave them two free throws and the ball.

Hornets guard Terry Rozier hit both free throws, then a deep two for the win as time expired.

Some will see Sunday night’s incident as just the latest of Draymond Green blowups that have cost the Warriors, the most notable past transgressions being his suspension from Game 5 of the 2016 Finals and his rant directed at Kevin Durant two seasons ago.

KNBR host Greg Papa certainly sees it that way, and believes that with Green no longer playing at an All-NBA level, his value to the team has taken a significant hit.

“What is not debatable, what is inexplicable, what is inexcusable is Draymond Green getting kicked out of that game,” Papa said on ‘Papa & Lund’ Monday morning. “Getting not one but two technicals, getting run and having ‘Scary Terry (Rozier)’ make not one but two free throws to tie the game. And Steve (Kerr) said ‘he crossed the line,’ there’s just no defending that.”

There also isn’t any defending an earlier gaffe this season, according to Papa, when Green tried to draw a foul in an end of game situation vs. the Spurs, despite the fact that Greg Popovich famously doesn’t foul in those situations. That led to a near half court heave with over eight seconds left, that essentially ended the game.

“This is a complicated situation with Draymond Green. He’s thought of as a highly intelligent player, although he’s made some really silly mistakes…This was a really dumb play. Go back to the San Antonio game when he said it was the “smartest dumb play,” no it was not. That was a dumb play. Greg Popovich does not foul in those situations, Draymond Green has been in the league a long time, he’s played against Pop, he knows that.

Papa now believes it’s start to take a serious look at Draymond’s future with the organization, and whether a trade is feasible and warranted.

“You’ve got to take a hard look at what you’re going to do with Draymond Green. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but where I really looked at it hard was not Saturday night, it was Friday night, and his inability to guard Nikola VucevicVucevic went for 30 and there was no contest. When Draymond used to go into a game with a player like him, and I know Vucevic is bigger, but I don’t care. Whether it’s LaMarcus Aldridge, whether it’s Blake Griffin when he was younger and a better player, name me any guy, Kristaps Porzingis was afraid of him. He just walked in the gym and he owned him. Draymond would take certain guys out.”

According to the numbers, the Warriors are about 10 points better this season when Draymond is on the floor. Papa believes that stat is flawed, and that Green is not passing the eye test.

“Draymond is not doing that anymore. He does not guard that way anymore. I don’t care about defensive analytics and the five-somes that are on the floor. Watch the game. He does not guard that way.

“The bottom line to me now, the question needs to be asked, should the Warriors trade Draymond Green? Would the Warriors trade Draymond Green? And the one that may determine all of this is the last one, could the Warriors trade Draymond Green?

“Before the meltdown on Saturday I reached out to a lot of people around the league (asking) ‘Is there any market for him at all?” and the word is ‘no, not really.’ The only places maybe is Portland, from a basketball standpoint that makes sense. Financially I’m not sure they would do that or could do that. And obviously with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports and LeBron, he could fit in with the Lakers. He would make Anthony Davis a lot better and LeBron a lot better, but what would you get back? I don’t even know what I’d ask for back. Maybe you’d want expiring contracts.

“The ‘could’ is a huge question mark, could you trade him if you wanted to? If you made it known he was available, and you’d have to be quiet about it, could you, would somebody take that contract?

“I’ve come to the realization that the first part, should they trade Draymond Green, and I’m not saying yes definitively, but you start to explore it at a higher level. It’s just a lot of different factors where he’s not himself. How many games has he cost you this year. The San Antonio ending, the ending in Charlotte, getting kicked out for not yelling at officials but for his own teammate, like that’s an excuse? What are you yelling at James Wiseman for?”

Green, 10 days away from his 31st birthday, is under contract through the 2023-24 season, with an average per year salary of over $25 million.

“The major question is would they? And to me it’s one man in particular, it’s the owner (Joe Lacob). Would he do that, would he trade Draymond Green?”


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