With the drama in Golden State heightening this past week, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore how the Warriors could deal Draymond Green.
To be clear, the Warriors aren’t trading Green away unless the entire team falls completely apart. This is definitely the most tension to be reported out of Golden State during the Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson-Green era – the major difference being the addition of Kevin Durant.
People wondered how well Durant could mesh with the Strength in Numbers mantra, but when the opportunity presented itself to add arguably the best scorer in today’s league, the Dubs’ front office couldn’t resist.
When Durant vented his frustrations towards Green for not giving the ball up at the end of regulation against the Clippers Monday night, Green fired back with a tirade so bad that the Warriors felt the need to suspend him for one game.
Many suspect that this could prove to be the beginning of the end for the Warriors’ championship run, and if Green feels distant from the front office after the suspension, he may want out of Oakland.
On the opposite coast is the Boston Celtics, who are struggling to get all the talent on their roster to work cohesively. The five best players on the Celtics are either All-Stars or borderline All-Stars, with Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.
But the Celtics are off to a slower start than anticipated, leading to the question: could each conference’s favorite look to shake things up? A trade that puts Green in a green uniform could look like the following.
Warriors receive: Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward
Celtics receive: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala
This trade would rock the entire league, with every single player being a ready-to-contribute, quality NBA player at bare minimum.
In theory, Hayward is the best player in this trade, but he’s had a slow start since coming back from his season-ending leg injury, averaging only 10.4 points in 27 minutes of action each night.
Bringing in Green and Iguodala might be redundant given that the Celtics’ biggest problem right now is having too much talent, but the biggest difference is Green and Iguodala both bring defense, and a whole lot of it.
A frontcourt of Green and Horford is begging for defenses to try and come into the paint. And having Green means they have a defender who could guard all five positions – something that the Celtics don’t have right now.
Even with all of the potential offensive firepower at hand, the Celtics’ biggest concern is their offense — ranking 24th in offensive rating — but unloading Hayward and Rozier could present more opportunity for Irving and Tatum to operate.
The Celtics are ranked #1 in the entire league for defensive rating, but having Green on the team could just increase that margin even more.
Looking at the Warriors’ side of things, they’re losing their enforcer and the heart and soul of the Warriors, but relieving Green of his duties on the team may entice Durant to stay in the Bay, which Warriors management would prefer compared to paying Green a super-max contract.
Being a star player before his injury, Hayward on the Warriors could be extremely beneficial for him – allowing himself to take it slow and ease into a new system. Many people still believe that Hayward can get back to his high level of play, and having Curry, Thompson and Durant in an offense would make that much easier.
The Warriors also gain one of the best backup players in the league in Rozier, who is looking to play more minutes. He won’t have a starting job in Golden State, but he could raise his stock even more and get paid this summer elsewhere.
This trade is as unlikely as Kobe Bryant coming back to the Lakers to team up with LeBron James: it won’t happen but it’s fun to imagine the possibilities.
Although, it’s hard to remember any situation where the favorites to meet in the Finals are both having some issues personnel-wise. In today’s NBA, you should never say never, as things can happen as quick as an in-game argument growing to the speculation of the end of a dynasty.