The Phoenix Suns might be the last team anyone wants to see with their best defender sidelined.
But that's exactly where the Golden State Warriors find themselves on opening night, with Steve Kerr telling the media Monday that Green will be out Tuesday when the Warriors host the Suns.
Steve Kerr says Draymond practiced today and continues to do well, but the Warriors do not want to push him and feel it's best to be cautious with his return https://t.co/SuImRGgndM
— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) October 23, 2023
This is not a surprise, it was thought Green could miss the start of the season when he sprained his left ankle during a workout at the Chase Center before training camp opened. The original estimate was Green would be out 4-6 weeks and this is just the start of the fourth week, he will likely miss another week or so before returning to the court.
Last season, the Warriors' defense was 7.3 points per 100 possessions better when Green was on the court — it was a top-five level defense with Green and a bottom-five defense without him. That's concerning going up against Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal in a Suns' offense expected to be top three in the league. Green's offensive contributions have shrunk over the previous couple of years. Last season he averaged 8.5 points a game shooting 61.2% inside the arc in 73 games for the Warriors.
Green signed a four-year, $100 million extension this offseason to stay with the Warriors as they try to keep the core together (but maybe not Klay Thompson).
Look for more Jonathan Kuminga and Dario Saric with Green out — but the Warriors need him back sooner rather than later. The West will be deep and unforgiving this season and Golden State doesn't want to get off to a slow start.