Draymond Green, who will be a restricted free agent after the season, said that being a 2012 second-round pick gave him motivation to prove his skeptics wrong, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes. The Warriors’ versatile forward felt snubbed when he was passed over in the first round, Green told Ellis, and that led him to become one of the league’s most sought-after free agents. “Everybody wants to be a first-round pick. But things have a funny way of working out,” Green said in the article. “Who’s to say I’d be having this season if I was a first-round pick? Who’s to say I’d even be here? But it’s all worked itself out. It’s put me in a solid position and I’m just trying to take advantage of it.” Green is expected to receive an offer sheet worth over $10MM per season, Ellis speculates, but the Warriors have said they will match any offer. Whether Golden State can actually afford to do that is debatable, Ellis adds, and they may have to trade David Lee to create financial flexibility in order to retain Green. Green wouldn’t confirm or deny a recent report that the ex-Michigan State forward would like to play for his hometown Pistons, Ellis adds.
In other news around the Western Conference:
- Anthony Davis should decline a maximum extension this summer and instead accept a qualifying offer so that he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, Daniel Leroux of RealGM.com opines. By doing so, Davis can maximize his leverage with the Pelicans and position himself to sign two major multi-year deals during his career rather being past his prime after the first one expires, Leroux continues. With the salary cap rising dramatically after next season, the benefits of waiting for his first big contract outweigh the risks, Leroux adds. It also puts added pressure on New Orleans to surround Davis with enough talent by the summer of 2017 to convince him to stay put, Leroux concludes.
- Bryce Cotton feels he still has much to prove to the Jazz even after signing a contract for the remainder of the season, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports. Cotton, who is backing up Dante Exum and Trey Burke at point guard, received the contract after two 10-day contracts expired. Cotton’s approximately $845K salary for next season is not guaranteed and he doesn’t feel secure, Coro adds. “It’s one of those temporary sighs of relief but you never want to get complacent no matter what your situation is,” Cotton said in the story. “Just keep working hard and do whatever it was that got you to this situation.”