Stan Van Gundy appeared careful to say that he simply liked the type of player that Draymond Green is when he spoke with reporters before Wednesday’s Pistons-Warriors game, but it’s clear that Van Gundy would like to have Green on his team, writes Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group. The native of Saginaw, Michigan, has “significant interest” in signing an offer sheet with the Pistons this summer, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported last month, though Green downplayed the notion Wednesday, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays.
“Everybody needs that kind of guy,” Van Gundy said in response to a question about whether the Pistons need a tough guy like Green. “Yeah, absolutely. Everybody needs those guys.”
“When you’re talking about a tough guy who can also shoot the ball, there’s your ideal,” Van Gundy also said.
It would be no surprise if the Pistons indeed have at least some level of interest in the former Michigan State standout who’s having a breakthrough season in his third NBA campaign. He’s on a minimum-salary contract, but he’s in line for a significant raise. The Warriors have more than $77.5MM in guaranteed salary against a projected $81MM tax line for next season, yet Golden State has given every indication it will match any offer for Green, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group wrote in response to Wojnarowski’s report.
Signing a max offer sheet with another team could allow Green to make more than Klay Thompson without the deal having come directly from the Warriors, who are hesitant about making such an offer, according to Wojnarowski. The Warriors capped Thompson’s starting salary at $15.5MM, the projected maximum at the time, when they signed him to an extension this past fall, but if the max winds up exceeding that amount, Golden State is wary of internal politics coming into play, as Wojnarowski explained. If Green signs a max offer sheet with the Pistons, that would mean Detroit would have set the price point, and it would be easier for Thompson and his supporters to swallow if the Warriors simply matched the offer, Wojnarowski suggested.
The 25-year-old had a forceful response when asked if he longs to return to his home state, as Ellis observes.
“Home is always home,” Green said. “But honestly I don’t really even think about it because trying to win a championship is enough to think about on a daily basis. … So I don’t have time to sit and think, ‘Man, it would be great for me to go back home and play in Detroit, play in my home state.’ I don’t have time for that because I got one goal and that’s to try to win a championship with the team that I’m on.”
The Pistons have less than $28MM committed for next season. However, that doesn’t include any money for Reggie Jackson, who’s also set for restricted free agency, nor a contract for Greg Monroe, who will be an unrestricted free agent.