Draymond Green's Financial Sacrifice In 2015 Laid The Foundation For Kevin Durant's Arrival To Warriors Dynasty

Photo: Instagram/Draymond Green

In an exclusive revelation during a recent podcast appearance with Carmelo Anthony, Draymond Green delves into the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that set the stage for Kevin Durant's pivotal move to the Golden State Warriors in 2016. 

Contrary to embellished narratives of tearful pleas and urgent calls, Green describes a more casual exchange of texts with Durant after the Warriors' heartbreaking loss in the 2016 Finals.

The dialogue, as shared on "The ETCS podcast Kevin Durant" in 2021, reveals Durant's perspective: "I done heard a couple stories. From my end, we sent some texts on just, 'Yo, I seen that? You seen that? Alright, bet. That's really what it was, bro. It wasn't no urgent FaceTime call. It was exactly what I just said. 'Yo, you see what just happened?' 'Bet. Alright, I'm on the way.'"

Photo: Instagram/Draymond Green

Green echoes Durant's sentiment, dispelling the theatrical embellishments that painted a more dramatic picture. "That's exactly what it was. It was this whole narrative of, 'You called Kevin crying from the parking lot.' I'm like, 'Yo, this s--t can ... like y'all added a theatrical sense to make this s--t a movie. You got to make s--t for TV, but you got to add on a little bit."

However, amidst the clarifications, Green reveals a significant financial sacrifice he made in 2015, a year before Durant's arrival. During contract negotiations after his rookie deal expired, Green was in a prime position to command up to $93 million on a max deal from the Warriors, fresh off their first championship in 40 years. However, Green disclosed during the 7PM in Brooklyn podcast, "I took $82M to ensure the Warriors would at least have an opportunity to sign Kevin Durant the following summer."

The authenticity of this claim raises questions, considering a Yahoo report from 2015 indicated contract negotiations between the Warriors and Green had broken off. Green's decision to sign a five-year deal for $82 million prompts speculation about whether he took less money willingly or if the Warriors were unwilling to offer the full $93 million.

Green's agent at the time, B.J. Armstrong, played a crucial role in the decision. Green recalls the conversation, "Here's [the Warriors'] whole [salary] cap table. Here's what it is next year. The cap next year jumps to this. Look who's a free agent next year. KD. Here's [the amount of money] you can take, and y'all will still be able to pay [KD] max. The number was five [years] for $85 [million].'"

While the specifics remain debatable, Green's financial maneuver, whether voluntary or due to negotiation dynamics, played a part in shaping the Warriors' roster. Notably, Stephen Curry's team-friendly contract also contributed significantly to the team's cap flexibility, culminating in the Warriors becoming arguably the greatest team ever assembled in the 2016-17 season. (Source: CBS SPORTS)

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