Warriors’ Steve Kerr gets honest about Draymond Green’s future with the team

What will happen to the Golden State Warriors after missing the playoffs this season with an expensive, veteran-heavy roster? In particular, what will happen to star forward/center Draymond Green, who was suspended twice during the 2023-2024 season due to various intra-court disputes?

Following the official end of Golden State’s season this year during a play-in-game elimination (more on that later), head coach Steve Kerr pulled no punches when it came to discussing the star defenseman’s future with the franchise , according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic .

“He hit Jordan (Poole ahead of the 2022-23 season),” Kerr acknowledged. “He grabbed (Minnesota Timberwolves center) Rudy Gobert by the neck. He swung at (Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic). Things like that, just by basic laws of society, basic norms, you can’t do that, right? So on that moment You know, when the league suspended him, it was the best thing that could have happened to Draymond… His career was on the line.

The NBA suspended Green for five games after the Gobert incident and indefinitely because of the Nurkic dustup. He was eventually reinstated after 12 missed games.

Draymond Green
Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after being ejected for a flagrant foul during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on December 12, 2023…

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When Green returned from that second 12-game suspension after the Nurkic hit, Golden State finished the year on a 26-14 run, with an overall record of 46-36. The Warriors entered the play-in tournament as a No. 10 seed and were throttled by the Sacramento Kings, 118-94, in their lone play-in game on Tuesday. Sacramento was also ousted last night by the New Orleans Pelicans without injured star forward Zion Williamson, 105-98. Essentially, the Warriors were defeated by a team that itself wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs properly.

“As someone who loves and appreciates Draymond immensely, I will continue to help him in any way I can to live his best life, to be the best version of himself, which he truly has been these past two months,” he said. Kerr noted. “I’ll be completely honest, during the suspension I was sitting there, ‘Can he actually get a few sessions of therapy and change? I don’t think that’s possible.'”

That said, Kerr definitely seemed excited about Green’s growth upon his return, especially in his off-field development.

“But no matter what he did in the last three months, he was the best version of himself, not just on the field, in the locker room, leading the young guys. His teammates would all tell you how great he was.”

Green just completed the first season of a four-year, fully guaranteed, $100 million deal with the club. He has a player option for 2026-27, when he would be paid $27.7 million during his age-36 season. Slater reports that current Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. appears to expect to retain Green this year.

‘Draymond is complex. His relationship with our franchise is complex,” Kerr admitted. “But at the heart of it is a deep loyalty, passion and love, and we share that with him. That’s a very difficult thing to reconcile. You almost don’t even try. You help him through it and you make sure he does. ” the best version of themselves and you keep pushing.”

On the floor, Green saw his shooting improve significantly from long range, albeit mainly when left wide open. The four-time All-Star and eight-time All-Defensive Teamer appeared in 55 regular season games, averaging 8.6 points on .497/.395/.730 shooting splits, 7.2 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1, 0 steals and 0.9 blocks per.