Warriors forward Draymond Green admits he may have crossed the line into tampering with comments he made Friday on “Inside the NBA” calling for Suns star Devin Booker to force his way out of Phoenix, writes Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. Booker has been one of the top performers in Orlando, leading the Suns to four straight wins and keeping them in the playoff race, but Green doesn’t believe he has a bright future if he remains with the franchise.
“It’s great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix,” Green said. “It’s not good for him, it’s not good for his career. Sorry Chuck (Charles Barkley), but they’ve gotta get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere that he can play great basketball all of the time and win, because he’s that kind of player.”
Asked by co-host Ernie Johnson if his comments constituted tampering, Green laughed and replied, “Maybe.”
Green has been openly critical of the Suns before, Quinn notes. In the preseason, he blasted them for giving up too early on lottery pick Marquese Chriss, who turned in a career-best season for the Warriors.
“Let’s be frank about it,” Green said. “When (Chriss) was there, the organization was terrible. Everything was going wrong. But he get blamed, like he’s the problem. When he left, ain’t nothing go right. That’s my take on it.”
Green has a reputation for reaching out to stars from other teams, most notably Kevin Durant after Golden State dropped the seventh game of the NBA Finals in 2016. Durant agreed to join the Warriors and captured two championships with them.
It would be difficult for Golden State or any other team to pry Booker out of Phoenix. He’s the centerpiece of the rebuilding effort in Phoenix and still has four seasons remaining on the maximum extension he signed in the summer of 2018.
While Green’s statement will attract scrutiny from the NBA office, the league has tended to overlook player comments and assess tampering fines only to team executives, observes Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports. He cites the example of LeBron James saying last year that he would like to have Anthony Davis as a teammate. The league responded by sending an anti-tampering memo to all 30 teams, but didn’t impose a fine on James.