The Golden State Warriors are at a crossroads. Jordan Poole and Draymond Green had a physical confrontation during practice on Wednesday. It was something that has apparently been building up since training camp started as both players have their eyes on their next contracts.
The Warriors are actively negotiating with Poole's camp as he comes off a career season at 23 years-old. Meanwhile, Green, who turns 33 in March, is expected to play out the season without a new deal. After helping bring the Warriors four titles in nine seasons, you can see why Green might be a bit annoyed.
But you can also understand the Warriors side of things. Green is getting old by basketball player standards. While letting Green go for the twilight of his career would lose his many intangibles, you could easily pay a couple other players for 150 percent of his tangibles for the same price. (All values estimated and based on complete guesses considering Draymond averaged 7/7/7 last year and only makes 30% of his three-pointers.)
It actually seems like a pretty obvious choice and it also seems like the Warriors have already made their decision. Will this unravel the Warriors' entire season as Draymond Green gets more Draymond-ier and Draymond-ier as the days pass? How long until he complains about something on his podcast? Or has another altercation with someone in the locker room? That has to be a concern considering Draymond's penchant for drama and his well-known inability to control his own body.
So has the time come to trade Draymond Green? There would be suitors and some of the destinations would probably be attractive to Green if he wants to win. It's almost ironic that the very things that could derail the Warriors season are the exact personality traits that could change an entire locker room's attitude for the better. He's the ultimate glue guy despite the fact that he could tear the Warriors apart. He does the dirty work and makes teammates accountable.
Which is why the Warriors might end up missing him. Are Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson just a little less effective without Draymond's screens and incredible passing ability? Does Andrew Wiggins go back to being the Minnesota version of Maple Jordan without Green in his ear?
We've just witnessed a full decade where the Warriors were great because they had so many talented, complimentary parts that fit just right, and injury luck and blown 3-1 leads at just the right time allowed them to extend their success into dynasty territory. Now one too many people wants to get paid as they all continue to age and it could throw off the chemistry of everything. If this is the beginning of the end for the Warriors, it was a long time coming.