Draymond Green

Warriors Notes: Green, Wiseman, Myers, 2022/23 Season

Four-time Warriors champion forward Draymond Green had an extensive chat with team president Bob Myers during a plane ride from Oakland to Boston this past Tuesday, with the Warriors leading the Celtics 3-2 in the 2022 NBA Finals ahead of what turned out to be a close-out Game 6, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“We talked about everything but basketball that everyone deals with,” Myers said. “I don’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be them (the players) because I’m not a celebrity, or famous or as wealthy as them… I just think we get so focused on Game 5, Game 6, I don’t think we talk enough about (life). Once this stuff is over, we’re gonna go back to our lives. Everybody’s got challenges, so I’m just talking about that stuff.”

“Those are things that bring you together for a lifetime,” Green said of their conversation and others like it. “We’ve seen several people win trophies together, and they hate each other. It’s those things that bring you together and connect you forever.”

Amick also discusses the late benching Green received in the fourth quarter in Game 4. Head coach Steve Kerr played center Kevon Looney in Green’s stead for much of the frame, a decision that ultimately helped the Warriors knot the series at 2-2 with a 107-97 Game 4 victory.

“You have to (get through moments like that),” Green said. “But like I said, ultimately in those moments, the most important thing is that you trust each other. I didn’t question (Kerr). I was upset, (because) as a competitor you want to be in the game.”

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Warriors center James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick out of Memphis in the 2020 draft, said recently that he expects there is a “90% chance” he will be able to suit up for the team’s Summer League games, per NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter video link). “I’ve been feeling great,” Wiseman said. “I’m running now, I’m doing a lot of up-and-down stuff… I’ll most likely play in Summer League.” The seven-footer’s rookie season was cut short due to a mensicus tear that also kept him out for all of 2021/22. In 39 healthy games during the ’20/21 season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG, though his inconsistent defensive play limited him to just 21.4 MPG.
  • Warriors team president Bob Myers credits former Celtics team president Danny Ainge, now with the Jazz, for helping Myers land his current job, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. Ainge was the architect behind much of the roster against which Golden State faced off in the Finals. “Without Danny, I wouldn’t be here,” said Myers. “He recommended that [Warriors owner Joe Lacob] meet with me…  And Joe didn’t know me from anybody. And on Danny’s recommendation, he met with me. And then a few months later, Joe asked me if I wanted to work for the team. So I do owe that to Danny. Truly, without him I don’t get hired by the Warriors.”
  • After a resurgent 53-29 regular season led to a charmed NBA Finals run and their first title since 2018, the Warriors actually have a chance to improve during the 2022/23 season, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami notes that talented recent lottery selections Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody did not play meaningful minutes in this year’s NBA Finals, but could be poised to contribute to the roster next year. Rookie wings Moody and Kuminga chipped in during Golden State’s playoff run, while second-year center Wiseman continues to work his way back from injury. Following a breakout regular season, 23-year-old shooting guard Jordan Poole saw more limited time during the playoffs, but still managed to be a solid contributor. Kawakami notes that Poole, too, could develop further next season.

Warriors Notes: Championship, Lacob, Veteran Core, Offseason

The Warriors‘ championship this year vindicated the belief of team management and ownership that the team could build a “two-timeline” roster, using its lottery picks in 2020 and 2021 on young prospects rather than in trades for win-now help, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Warriors Win 2022 Title, Stephen Curry Named MVP]

As Slater details, president of basketball operations Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob believed the roster was talented enough to contend for a title without having to trade those picks. Golden State ultimately opted to draft and develop James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody while continuing to lean on veterans like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.

“They were doubted,” Lacob said on Thursday night, referring to the Warriors’ veteran stars. “But these guys are not 40 years old. We believed in that core. Not many teams have a core four. A lot of people say core three. I say core four. We’re spending the money to do that. Then, we supplement and surround that team.

“I know some people thought we could’ve done more, got another star. But who were we going to get? Who was available that would make a difference? We didn’t think there was, and we really wanted these young guys to be developed and learn from these guys. They have learned. We are going to be even better as a result of that in the years going forward.”

Here’s more on the NBA champions:

  • Lacob is confident that his club can continue to be a contender for years to come, as David Aldridge of The Athletic relays. “I intend to own this team for a long time and I intend to win as many championships as possible,” Lacob said. “It’s all about winning. That’s it. That’s all I care about. We’re going to do whatever it takes. The truth is, we’ve got really smart people who work in this organization, and we are, usually, going to figure it out and be real good.”
  • The Warriors’ fourth title in the last eight years left no doubt of their star trio’s place in NBA history, says Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Individually, we all do different, unique things to impact winning,” Curry said of himself, Green, and Thompson. “We all have a sense of humility about what it takes to win and knowing that we respect what every single one of us brings to the table. But there’s also an ego with that, too. So there’s a healthy balance. And the rest of it is trust.”
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype looks ahead to the offseason decisions facing the Warriors following their championship run, while Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN revisits seven important moments from that run.
  • Oddsmakers and sportsbooks have made the Warriors the early favorites for the 2023 title, according to David Purdum of ESPN. Golden State is a little ahead of Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Clippers.

Warriors Notes: Green, Game 6, Kerr, Evans

Draymond Green admits the Celtics present certain challenges, but it’s not the same as facing LeBron James in the NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. One victory away from picking up his fourth ring with the Warriors, Green reflected Wednesday on the four Finals matchups with James when he was in Cleveland.

“It doesn’t compare to mentally playing against LeBron James, who I think is arguably the smartest guy to ever play this game,” Green said. “Not one of, he is arguably the smartest guy to set foot on a basketball court. To say that it compares to that, it’s disrespectful to LeBron, and it’s a lie to you.”

Green noted that the Celtics provide matchup problems because they’re “super athletic,” but said he has been able to outthink them so far. He singled out point guard Marcus Smart and coach Ime Udoka as being especially cerebral, but again mentioned James and his ability to diagnose the game.

“Like that’s just a skill that not many people possess,” Green said. “Not many people can come and sit here and find a random stretch from seven minutes to four minutes in the second quarter and give you every play like to the T and not miss a beat. There’s not many people that can do that.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State will lean on its experience as it tries to wrap up the series in Boston tonight, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. The Warriors have been in this situation plenty of times before and realize the clinching game can be the hardest to win. “You just understand what the nerves are like,” Stephen Curry said. “We understand the specifics of how we need to approach the game from a physicality perspective, our game plan adjustments from Game 5 to Game 6, understanding what the building is going to feel like, that energy, being prepared for it.”
  • Steve Kerr has a chance to add another championship to his legacy of success, per Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. Kerr is already the first person to win at least at least three titles as both a player and a coach. “Just hanging around the right people,” he said as an explanation. “You hang around superstars long enough, you’re going to get some residual success falling your way.”
  • Former NBA guard Tyreke Evans was among the players at a Warriors mini-camp held Wednesday, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors, who adds that Evans worked out for the team in March. Justin Tillman and Louis King also attended.

California Notes: Diabate, Sochan, Reaves, Green

The Kings worked out Michigan center Moussa Diabate on Tuesday, per Andrew Slater of Pro Insight (via Twitter). Sacramento holds the Nos. 4, 37 and 49 picks in next week’s 2022 draft. Diabate is ranked as the No. 70 prospect on the ESPN big board.

The 6’11” big man was voted onto the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in his lone NCAA year. Slater adds that Diabate logged the best vertical of all center prospects, 36.5″, at the pre-draft combine in Chicago. Through 32 games with the Wolverines, Diabate averaged 9.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 0.9 BPG during 24.9 MPG during the 2021/22 season.

There’s more out of California:

  • Among first-round candidates, Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan worked out for the Kings on Sunday, per Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. Anderson notes that the 19-year-old is among the top defensive players in the 2022 draft. During his lone college season, the 6’9″ combo forward averaged 9.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.3 SPG and 0.7 BPG in 30 contests. ESPN lists Sochan as the No. 15 pro prospect on its latest big board.
  • Lakers rookie Austin Reaves had quite the first NBA season. After going undrafted in 2021 out of Oklahoma, he latched on with L.A. and soon found himself earning the praise of All-NBA forward LeBron JamesDan Woike of the Los Angeles Times takes an in-depth look at the development of the 6’5″ shooting guard. Though Woike writes that Reaves had received some interest in the second round of the draft, Reaves and his representation demanded a guaranteed contract from any team with interest in taking him. His preferred destination was Los Angeles, and when he fell out of the draft, Reaves eventually signed with the Lakers on a two-way contract. The team promoted Reaves ahead of the regular season to a standard two-year deal. “When you have an opportunity to see the arc of a player, to discover him in the scouting process, bringing him in for workouts, acquiring him, developing him and bringing him along, seeing that arc is really satisfying,” team president Rob Pelinka said. Through 61 games, including 19 starts, Reaves averaged 7.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 1.8 APG in 23.2 MPG for the Lakers.
  • All-Star Warriors forward Draymond Green played a big part in Golden State’s critical 104-94 Game 5 Finals win over the Celtics on Monday thanks to his disruptive defensive pressure and offensive court sense, per Marcus Thompson II. Though Green scored just eight points on a respectable 3-of-6 shooting from the floor, he also notched eight rebounds, six assists, and a steal. Thompson reports that Boston players converted just 7-of-23 (30.4%) of their looks with Green defending them during the series’ past two contests, both Warriors wins. Those players otherwise connect on 49.3% of their attempts from the floor. “I felt more like myself… aggressive on both ends of the ball,” the 32-year-old Green said. “I look forward to going into Game 6 with the same energy and effort.”

Pacific Notes: Green, Kerr, Daniels, Ayton

Warriors big man Draymond Green hopes to improve his on-court performance during Golden State’s Finals series against the Celtics, and is doing his darnedest to avoid distractions from off-court bad actors, per Marc J. Spears of Andscape. Celtics fans erupted into an explicative-laden chant aimed at Green during the Warriors’ 116-100 Game 3 loss to the Boston.

“They are just talking,” Green said following the Wednesday loss. “Not really my job to react to them. They did what I expected… I have to come out and play with more force.”

The four-time All-Star, also a 2022 All-Defensive Second Team honoree, has had a lackluster Finals series. He is averaging 4.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 7.3 RPG, and 4.5 fouls a night. He was benched for much of the fourth quarter during the Warriors’ 107-97 Game 4 road victory.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has enjoyed a masterful 2021/22 season with Golden State, opines Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kerr’s Warriors successfully knotted their 2022 Finals series against the Celtics 2-2 on Friday. It marks Golden State’s sixth Finals appearance during Kerr’s eight years with the club. Beyond the team’s core of All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins, plus shooting guard Klay Thompson, and center Kevon Looney, Kawakami writes that Kerr has adeptly adjusted his rotations for the rest of the team’s personnel to fit a variety of on-court situations.
  • The Kings, who have the fourth pick in the upcoming draft, have scheduled a workout with G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Daniels is currently ranked as the No. 6 prospect on ESPN’s big board. Robbins adds that Daniels has previously worked out for several other teams, including the Pistons and Spurs.
  • Following a disappointing Western Conference Semifinals loss to the Mavericks, the Suns face an uncertain future. The team’s biggest decision this summer concerns the fate of restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton, who had an excellent regular season but struggled through an inconsistent postseason. In a pair of subscriber-only stories, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic identifies five things Phoenix should do if it wants to trade Ayton, and five things the club should do if it wants to retain him.

Warriors Notes: Green, Kerr, Curry, Kuminga

Warriors star Draymond Green made an impact in Game 4 despite continuing to struggle with his scoring, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports writes. Green has averaged 4.3 points per game against the defensive-minded Celtics so far in the Finals, scoring only two points on Friday and receiving more criticism from some fans.

What tends to go unnoticed is the impact Green made this season and in Game 4 despite his lackluster scoring. Green recorded nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in the contest, helping the Warriors save points on the defensive end throughout the game.

When you factor in Green’s assists, he was responsible for roughly 20 points in the game. He averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists per outing this season, and that doesn’t include hockey assists, passes leading to free throws, and more.

Here are some other notes out of Golden State today:

  • Head coach Steve Kerr subbed Green out as Boston went on a fourth-quarter run last game, David Aldridge of The Athletic notes. Green was replaced by Kevon Looney at the 7:32 mark. Green, re-inserted with 3:41 left in the game, then made some key plays down the stretch. Aldridge contends that Kerr’s gamble paid off — and when it happens during the NBA Finals, it’s often a matter of trust.
  • Stephen Curry showed how championships are won with an electric performance on Friday, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Curry finished with 43 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, helping the Warriors avoid a 3-1 deficit. The team now has home court advantage in a best-of-three series.
  • Rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga is a risky option against these Celtics, but it may be necessary down the stretch, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic writes. Kawakami’s article was published before Golden State’s Game 4 win, but Kuminga could still be used before the series ends.

Warriors Notes: Green, Poole, Iguodala, Payton

Draymond Green believes he needs to “completely raise my play a couple more notches” after a poor shooting night in the Warriors‘ Game 1 loss, writes Mark Medina of NBA.com. Green made just 2-of-12 shots, giving him four points to go with three turnovers and six fouls. He also took the blame for the Celtics’ offensive outburst in the fourth quarter as they posted 40 points while turning a 12-point deficit into a 12-point victory.

Medina notes that Green has a history of bouncing back after bad outings, especially in the playoffs. His teammates expressed total confidence that will happen in Sunday night’s Game 2.

“No other scenario where I see playing out any differently than him coming out with great energy and focus,” Stephen Curry said. “He takes all that stuff personally in terms of his standard and what he knows he can do out there on the floor. When he doesn’t meet that, he’s usually pretty honest and accountable to himself to the team.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State’s veterans are rallying around Jordan Poole, who had a disappointing performance in his first NBA Finals game, Medina adds. Poole was just 2-of-7 with four turnovers, and Curry suggested that it may have had something to do with being on such a big stage for the first time. “Maybe slow down just a little bit to see the pictures a little bit better,” he advised. “But he doesn’t have to change anything about the way he plays, the way he attacks or where he feels the most confident in terms of making an impact on the game. You just have to be able to bottle up those emotions.”
  • Andre Iguodala has been a steadying influence on Poole throughout his breakout season, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Iguodala, who rejoined the Warriors prior to the start of the season, can offer Poole the experience of an 18-year NBA career and seven trips to the Finals.
  • Gary Payton II told reporters after today’s practice that he’s not feeling any more pain in the left elbow that was fractured during the second-round series with Memphis, Johnson writes in a separate story. Payton sat out the series opener, but said he’ll be ready if coach Steve Kerr decides to use him in Game 2. “I’m available, ready to go, just waiting on the call,” Payton said.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Green, Lakers, Kings

Speaking to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Warriors owner Joe Lacob referenced a division rival when he discussed his long-term goals for the franchise.

“We are very goal-oriented,” Lacob said. “Our goal right now is to sustain being really good for a long time. I look at Jerry Buss and the Lakers, and how he owned the team for 33 years and made 16 Finals. That’s just an astonishing achievement, an incredible owner.

“Whether we can sustain that over such a long period of time, like Jerry Buss did – the Celtics certainly had great history but it was a little bit of a different time – I don’t know. But we’re going to try. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals this year for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, and are seeking their fourth championship during that time.

  • Even though he only appeared in 46 of 82 possible regular season games this season, Warriors forward Draymond Green views it as a “slight” that he didn’t make the All-Defensive First Team, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. “When I look at the First Team, I am not sure I can pinpoint, definitely not five guys that had a better defensive season than me,” Green said. “And there are no (games-played) requirements. There is not some amount that you have to play in. If there was an amount that you had to play, then I would be an idiot sitting here and saying that.”
  • The Lakers are working out six prospects today, bringing in R.J. Cole (UConn), Jules Bernard (UCLA), Kur Kuath (Marquette), Jaden Shackelford (Alabama), Zyon Pullin (UC-Riverside), and David McCormack (Kansas) for a pre-draft audition, tweets Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. Pullin is reportedly expected to remove his name from the draft pool before tonight’s NCAA withdrawal deadline.
  • Houston’s Fabian White Jr. was among the prospects to work out for the Kings on Tuesday, per Sean Cunningham of FOX40 News (Twitter link).

Warriors Notes: Green, Curry, Moody, Bazemore

The Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons, and while this year’s accomplishments are impressive, Draymond Green insists that the team’s place in history was already secure, writes Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area. Speaking on his latest podcast, Green said everything the Warriors accomplished last decade speaks for itself.

“But by no means does this stamp the dynasty, but no means does this stamp Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or myself or whoever,” Green said. “We been doing this and yes, it’s great to be back in this position. I know people be needing things to talk about but this doesn’t decide or like all of a sudden now people are like ‘Oh ya, this is a dynasty.’ No. Stop it. Been a dynasty.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Curry’s three-point shooting has dipped slightly since the playoffs began, but he’s at the height of his career in play-making and defense, contends Jackson Frank of Basketball News. In the postseason, opponents are shooting just 57-of-152 (37.5%) from the field with Curry as the primary defender. He’s also staying out of foul trouble, reaching three fouls in a game only once.
  • Matt Issa of Basketball News examines the contributions of Moses Moody, the only rookie who played a significant role in either conference finals. Moody’s versatility on defense and his ability to finish plays have made him an important contributor off the Warriors’ bench.
  • Golden State won’t find out its Finals opponent until Sunday night, but Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News sees a clear advantage in facing the Heat instead of the Celtics. He argues that Boston’s defense is scarier than anything Miami can offer, especially with so many players battling injuries.
  • Kent Bazemore expressed regret this week about leaving the Warriors last offseason to sign with the Lakers. Golden State offered a two-year deal and a larger salary, but Bazemore believed he would have a larger role and a better chance to win a ring with L.A. After the Warriors clinched a spot in the Finals on Thursday, Bazemore tweeted, “Congrats to my homies ……. But I’m sick bruh.”

Heat Notes: Green, Butler, Wade, Game 7, Lowry

The Heat used Draymond Green‘s recent NBA Finals prediction as motivation to beat the Celtics on Friday and force a Game 7, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports writes. Green predicted his Warriors would face the Celtics after Golden State advanced this week, prompting several Heat players to respond.

“Draymond broke the code,” veteran Udonis Haslem said. “You ain’t supposed to say some s–t like that. That’s disrespectful. He know better than that.”

Heat forward P.J. Tucker also felt as if Green crossed a line with his comments.

“I don’t know what part of the game is that,” Tucker told Haynes. “A player picking a team before they’re out. That’s crazy, bro.”

Miami could advance to play Golden State in the Finals by defeating Boston on Sunday. The team is dealing with an array of injuries, but was led by Jimmy Butler‘s 47-point performance to win Game 6 on the road.

Here are some other notes from Miami:

  • The Heat also received motivation from Dwyane Wade, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN, who details how Butler used that motivation en route to his dominant Game 6. “He was telling me that I could do this,” Butler told ESPN, referring to how Wade called him before the game. “Knee a little banged up, but nobody cares. Go out there, continue to build your legacy. It meant the world to me, so I appreciate you D-Wade.” In addition to his 47 points, Butler also finished with nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 46 minutes.
  • Following the Heat’s Game 6 win, Butler expressed immediate confidence about the team’s chances in Game 7, as relayed by Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). “We knew we were going to win this one. And we’re going to win the next one too.”
  • Kyle Lowry‘s key performance in Game 6 seemingly came out of nowhere, Joe Vardon writes as part of a story for The Athletic. Lowry has been dealing with a hamstring strain for over a month, but he managed to record 18 points and 10 assists to keep the Heat’s season alive. “I’m never going to make an excuse,” Lowry said. “I played bad before. I have an opportunity to redeem myself. I got great guys in the locker room, great guys on our team, great organization, great people in my life who support me no matter what it is, ups, downs. They always say, ‘Just do you.’ Tonight was one of the chances that I think Coach said it, a legacy game.”