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Draymond Green said that during an all-day NBA championship celebration given in his honor in Saginaw, Mich., on Saturday, there were "a lot of people talking" to him about signing with the Detroit Pistons. The restricted free agent also noticed, however, that his Golden State Warriors have created a "huge fan base" in his hometown, too, with many of his fans wearing their gear.
Despite the expected interest from Golden State and Detroit, Green told Yahoo Sports he would do his due diligence with all suitors when free agency arrives Wednesday. The Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets are also expected to be among the teams interested in Green, a source said. The 2015 first all-NBA defensive team selection said he is open to face-to-face team visits with any serious free-agent opportunity, too.
"The one thing I've been taught is to go into this thing with no expectations," Green told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview on Sunday. "When you do, that's when it gets frustrating. That's when it gets stressful. I just want to have fun and enjoy this process.
"So I'm not going in there with no expectations for this or expectations for that. That would take away the enjoyment. And that's what I want, I want to enjoy this."
Green, 25, arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday to meet with his agent, B.J. Armstrong, in preparation for his upcoming free agency. The three-year NBA veteran averaged this past season per game career-highs in points (11.2), rebounds (8.2), assists (3.7) and minutes (31.5). Green also started in a career-high 79 games while helping the Warriors earn their first championship since 1975.
Green has made $2.6 million during his pro career. He is projected to make close to max money during free agency which can increase his salary more than six times. The thought of such a hefty pay raise is exciting and mind-boggling to Green, who was the 35th overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft.
"When [Armstrong] talks I just start laughing at him," Green said. "To hear my name mentioned like that [financially], to hear that type of stuff, it brings me back to moments like when I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan where my mom made about $14,000-$15,000 per year. It's surreal. It's like a joke and I can't believe it.
"At some point I will believe it. But it's like, 'Wow.' Who would have imagined this? You have these big goals. You hope this and hope that. You want to believe it, but it seems so far-fetched. To be in this moment, this position, it's like, 'Wow.' "
Green is a restricted free agent, which means the Warriors could match any offer sheet he signs. The Warriors have $56.7 million in contractual obligations next season. Golden State, however, has said that re-signing Green is a high priority.
"They said they wanted to keep me, but we will see what happens," Green said. "I don't know. I am not getting no pressure. There are no reports [of management] flying around right now [to see me]. There is really no need to feel pressure. Ain't nothing going on right now other than LeBron James and Kevin Love opted out."
On his time with the Warriors, Green said: "It was fun. I built relationships that will last a lifetime. They're a first-class organization. I had a great experience, but that probably won't change."
It takes a little more than an hour to drive from Saginaw to the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills where the Pistons play. Green would be open-minded in listening to the Pistons' sale pitch, but playing in a winning situation is extremely important to him. The rebuilding Pistons (32-50) missed the playoffs last season for the sixth straight year.
Any pressure to give the Pistons a chance?
"No. I don't feel any pressure with that," the ex-Michigan State star said. "Who even knows if Detroit would even talk to me? There have been reports and people saying they will. There have been reports saying they won't. So who knows if they even want to talk to me?"
Since the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers for an NBA title, Green has been enjoying the fruits of being a champion. He walked the red carpet before attending the premiere of the movie "Ted 2" in New York last week. He had a chic party in his honor in San Francisco. He got down from his float to shake hands with Warriors fans during the championship parade in Oakland. And there was the parade and rally in Saginaw that also was capped with a party, this one bringing him to tears.
"Everything has been amazing and life-changing," Green said. "You still don't even know at this point how it's actually changed your life."
Come Wednesday, Green will take a break from the celebrations to start concentrating on free agency.
"I came out here to L.A. to get myself together and get myself ready for this," Green said. "I'm excited about it. I'm not nervous or anything about it. What's going to happen is what's going to happen. It's a great time."