An Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com believes the Pistons are a team to watch if Draymond Green doesn’t sign an extension with the Warriors before he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023. Green was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, attended Michigan State, and grew up rooting for the Pistons, who have long had interest in acquiring him, according to the executive.
“(Pistons owner Tom) Gores is a Michigan State guy, and they wanted to give Draymond an offer sheet when he was a free agent (in 2015), but by then, the Warriors were going to match any offer,” the executive told Heavy.com. “So they just have not had the chance. If they can show some improvement this year with their young guys, they could get themselves in the mix.”
The idea of Green playing a mentor role on a young Pistons team is an intriguing one, and the combination of his local connection, Detroit’s projected 2023 cap room, and the rising cost of the Warriors’ roster make it a possibility worth considering. But for now, this feels more like idle speculation by a rival executive than anything concrete.
If Green and the Warriors are far apart in contract talks and he seriously considers leaving in 2023, Detroit could certainly emerge as an option, but there’s no reason at this point to think that Golden State won’t make every effort to lock up one of the cornerstones of its recent dynasty.
Here are a few more notes from around the East:
- In a separate story for Heavy.com, Sean Deveney spoke to a pair of assistant coaches about veterans the Celtics could theoretically target with one of their trade exceptions if they want to fortify their frontcourt. Alex Len, Tony Bradley, and Marquese Chriss are among the names mentioned, though I suspect the team may simply fill that spot on the depth chart with a minimum-salary signing.
- Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com considers the best- and worst-case scenarios for newly-signed Sixers forward P.J. Tucker, noting that the veteran’s age (37) increases the risk of a decline in his performance.
- Addressing recent rumors linking Kevin Durant to the Sixers, David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer says the team needs to answer two important questions: Do the 76ers have the assets necessary to acquire Durant? And if so, would it make sense to cash all of them in for the two-time Finals MVP?