WEDNESDAY, 9:05am: Green seemed make his intentions clear late Tuesday when Kawakami asked him if he was sure he’d be back with the Warriors next season.
“I’ll be here. I love this group of guys,” Green said.
Kawakami cautioned that the remark came in the emotionally charged hours after the Warriors had won the championship, and Green said in response to a follow-up question that he’s not thinking about his free agency for now. Still, it’s nonetheless a positive sign for the Warriors.
TUESDAY, 3:17pm: Warriors GM Bob Myers refused to delve deeply into the mechanics of the negotiations the team has planned with soon-to-be restricted free agent Draymond Green, but he nonetheless expressed confidence the team will bring him back, as Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group writes.
“Tell the Warrior fans they shouldn’t worry,” Myers said.
The Warriors front office had given every indication as the trade deadline approached that they planned to match any offer for Green, as Bay Area News Group columnist Tim Kawakami reported then, and the latest comments from Myers suggest that hasn’t changed. Myers cited league rules against public comments about contract talks as he refused to elaborate today, and while it’s not uncommon for teams to say they’ll match any offer for a restricted free agent, the league frowns on it.
In any case, Myers made it clear that the team hopes to retain the core of its club, Faraudo relays, which may or may not include David Lee, who’s suddenly become a significant weapon again after falling out of the rotation and sitting on the bench for all of the first two Finals games. Lee’s salary of nearly $15.494MM for next season is part of more than $77.5MM in commitments Golden State already has for 2015/16, never mind a new deal for Green. The Warriors have Bird Rights on Green, so they can pay up to the max if they want, but that would likely entail a massive tax bill with the tax line projected to come in at $81.6MM.
Green, a native of Michigan, reportedly had significant interest in signing an offer sheet with the Pistons, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote during the season in a report that seemed to suggest a max offer from some team would be in play. Wojnarowski detailed the Warriors’ desire to match an offer that would exceed Klay Thompson‘s salary, which will be no more than $15.5MM next season, rather than make the offer themselves, lest Thompson’s feelings get hurt. Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy seemed to make it clear he has plenty of interest in Green, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d want to tie up his team’s cap for three days while the Warriors can simply wait to match. Van Gundy also made his comments in response to questions about Green long before the Pistons traded for Ersan Ilyasova, whose presence helps solidify the team’s front line.
Myers said today that he doesn’t expect that the job change for Arn Tellem, the super-agent from the Wasserman Media Group who’s leaving for a job with the Pistons organization, would play a role in negotiations with Green, who’s represented by Wasserman’s B.J. Armstrong. Myers, himself a former agent, used to work with Armstrong, as Myers pointed out, according to Faraudo.