Draymond Green heading into final Warriors season, Jay Williams believes

Jay Williams: Dray might be heading into final Dubs season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Draymond Green reportedly “forcefully struck” teammate Jordan Poole at Warriors practice Wednesday, a story that took a life of its own on NBA Twitter.

ESPN analyst Jay Williams believes the tension could stem from both players' eligibility for contract extensions, a situation in which the Warriors might have to choose which player sticks around for the long term.

“There’s part of me that really believes this is the last year Draymond will play for the Golden State Warriors,” Williams said on ESPN Radio Thursday morning. “There were times during the playoffs where he was a liability on the court offensively. I know what he brings to the court defensively.

“But for what you’re going to have to pay him, considering the other pivotal young piece on your team, it’s a futures market in the NBA. You’ve got to plan for where you’re going to be two years from now.

“Draymond Green beyond this year, I don’t see it happening.”

Green, set to be paid $25.8 million this season with a player option for $27.6 million next year, reportedly was eyeing a maximum contract extension of four years this summer, but Golden State seemingly was never interested in offering such a deal before the 2022-23 campaign.

Green could decline his player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Poole, heading into his fourth NBA season, is eligible to sign a rookie max extension. The Warriors have until the Oct. 17 deadline to get a new deal worked out or Poole will become a restricted free agent next summer, giving Golden State the right to match any offer he receives.

Keeping both Green and Poole in San Francisco for the long term will be a challenge for the Warriors' front office, if at all possible.

"At the end of the day, the fact that both these guys are up for extensions, who feels more valued," Williams said. "There is tension escalating around that."

In regards to Wednesday's kerfuffle between Green and Poole, Williams -- a collegiate star at Duke and the No. 2 overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft -- didn't think much of it.

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"Should the Warriors suspend Draymond for a day or two? Yes, especially if he connected [on a punch]," Williams said. "Is this a big deal to me, though? No, man. We got in fights all the time during preseason, in college and in the pros. This kind of stuff happens.

"I’ve always known Draymond to be somewhat calculated. I’m just going to throw it out there -- there sometimes is a pecking order.

"And I think sometimes, Draymond likes to send messages to younger players, or people in general, about what his value is."

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