Draymond Green was suspended Monday night after getting into it on the court and after the game in the locker room with teammate Kevin Durant. The Warriors management decided that Green was out of line enough to warrant a one game suspension without pay. So Tuesday night he was not on the court.
The Cost Of Green’s Suspension
Green was only suspended for one game but with a contract like his, this means missing out on $120,480 as well as chance to help out his team. But more important than missing a game or some money ($120,000 is not a lot to a superstar like Green), the suspension sends Green a message.
Tensions came to head on Monday night between Green and Durant, with Green reportedly saying things that the management deemed unacceptable. Management may have decided to suspend Green because they want to appease Durant. Suspending one of your star players when you don’t need to is not something many coaches or managers want to do. It shakes up the cohesion on the court and can damage morale and dampen things in the locker room.
So if the Warriors were going to suspend Green, they needed a good reason. Look no further than Durant. Kevin is currently in his last season for the Warriors. He has been open about the fact that he doesn’t know what he wants for next season. Deciding to go somewhere new might make a lot of sense for someone like Durant.
After all, Durant is a top five player in the league and yet is outshined by Steph Curry and doesn’t get to lead his own team. If he went to a new team, he would be able to shape their destiny and the credit for potential success could be his. So the Warriors management is likely thinking that keeping Durant happy this season is incredibly crucial. Anything that might make Durant want to leave the Warriors must be avoided if you’re head coach Steve Curr or manager Bob Myers. Losing Durant could tare apart the dynasty that Golden State has built over the last few years. And even worse, without Durant on their side, they’d be playing against him.
Did The Warriors Do The Right Thing?
It is clear that Draymond Green was out of line on Monday and something needed to be done. But suspending Green the right move? This move was most likely looked upon favorably by teammate Kevin Durant. But Durant isn’t the only one with a contract that is ending soon. Green becomes a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. If he isn’t kept happy on the Warriors, there is no guarantee that he would renew his contract and stay.
Suspending Green and putting Durant first may be the good short-term move for the Warriors. After all, Durant is more valuable to the team and his contract is up sooner. But when we think about who is more likely to stay with the Warriors after his contract ends, the answer is Green. He is the Warrior’s third superstar. Yes, he’s vital to their success but he isn’t a franchise player the way Curry and Durant are. If he leaves the Warriors, he is not likely to take a team to the finals all on his own.
For this reason, the Warriors may be better off doing their best to hold onto Green and not Durant. They have had an amazing run these past few years but it can only last so long. Is this Green/Durant feud the beginning of the end?