Why Draymond Green laments Warriors losing Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr.

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Why Draymond laments Warriors losing GP2, Porter after title originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Halfway through the 2022-23 NBA season, Draymond Green still ponders how things would have been different had Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. remained with the Warriors.

Speaking with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on the "K[NO]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith" podcast, Green shared his thoughts on Golden State losing Payton and Porter in free agency this past offseason.

"Absolutely hate it, and still hate that GP is not here and to see him go," Green told Smith in part one of their conversation. "No. 1, you build a relationship with guys and the relationship we've been able to build, you just hate to see that kind of separate.

"Because in the NBA, everyone's living their own lives and yes, you stay in touch and all that, but it's nothing like being together on a daily basis."

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Green added that while Payton's defensive ability was well known -- stating that he should have been on an All-Defensive Team -- it was the 30-year-old guard's penchant for slamming down timely dunks that paid dividends for the Warriors.

"And so, having Gary Payton as a lob threat, cutting out of the corner of GP would stand in the dunkers [spot] like he's seven feet, and you toss him a lob and he jumps vertical and gets it, people don't understand how hard that is, how athletic you have to be to do that," Green said.

"GP's random cutting, all of those things, what that brought to our offense, I don't think people understood the value of that as well."

Regarding Porter, Green complimented the 29-year-old forward, calling him "one of the best" rebounders he has played with in the NBA.

With Porter gone, Golden State has struggled with rebounding the ball, Green noted. That's not a knock on the team but rather a testament to Porter's rebounding prowess.

"Otto Porter played minutes, he was going to have seven or eight rebounds if he played over 20 minutes," the Warriors' defensive ace said. "Otto Porter was great boxing out, he'd go up in traffic and get rebounds, and then obviously we know he's a sniper."

Although Porter was not a focal point of the offense during his time in the Bay Area, Green said the Warriors often trusted the former to make the right decisions on that end of the ball.

"And so the way he shot the ball, you can run the offense through Otto and get good shots. What he brought to this team, it was very important," Green concluded.

After playing crucial roles in helping the Warriors win their fourth NBA championship in eight years, both Payton and Porter left Golden State for the Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors, respectively.

Payton signed a three-year, $29 million contract with the Trail Blazers, a decision he claims was strictly business, while Porter signed a two-year, $12.4 million deal to play in his wife's hometown.

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With Golden State sitting at .500 (22-22) more than halfway through the season, it's fair to ponder what could have been had both players stayed.

At any rate, Green and the Warriors have no time to wonder as they try to right the ship with the playoffs fast approaching.

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