3:46pm: Warriors executives have given every indication that they’ll match any offer for Green, according to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link).
2:34pm: Saginaw, Michigan native Draymond Green has “significant interest” in signing an offer sheet with the Pistons this summer, when he’s set for restricted free agency, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Green loves playing with the Warriors, Wojnarowski cautions, adding that Golden State is intent on keeping him, which jibes with recent statements from Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob. Lacob also signaled a willingness to pay the tax, but Wojnarowski says that for the team to retain Green, “they’ll have to” move David Lee, a point seemingly based on the idea that the Warriors won’t be taxpayers.
Team politics at play are liable to prompt Green to sign an offer sheet with the Pistons rather than an outright deal with the Warriors, even if the Warriors plan to match, as Wojnarowski explains. The Warriors are hesitant to pay Green more than Klay Thompson will make next season, Wojnarowski writes. Thompson won’t earn more than $15.5MM, the projected 2015/16 maximum salary for a player of his experience at the time when Thompson signed his extension in the fall. If the max salary exceeds that amount, the Pistons or another team could float Green an offer sheet that would give him more than Thompson will make.
It would be easier for the Warriors to match an offer sheet for that kind of money than to come to Green directly with a deal that would give him more than the All-Star shooting guard, according to Wojnarowski. Green, who played at Michigan State, still spends much of his off-time in Michigan, but for the Pistons to have a legitimate shot at him, they’ll need to make an offer at or near the max, Wojnarowski writes.
The Warriors don’t want to deal Lee at the deadline and upset their chemistry, though there are teams with interest in acquiring Lee if he were attached to other assets, likely draft picks, Wojnarowski hears. The big man is set to make nearly $15.494MM next season, with the Warriors already at more than $77.5MM in commitments for next season. The luxury tax line is projected to come in at around $81MM, which means Golden State would likely go deep into the tax if it retained Green and Lee and didn’t make other significant changes.