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June 25, 2024

Draymond Green Set to Rejoin Warriors After Suspension as Struggling Team Looks to Regroup

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Jan 5, 2024

Draymond Green is nearing his return to the Golden State Warriors facility and team activities after being suspended in early December, according to multiple reports. The Warriors have struggled mightily without their emotional leader and are hoping his return can help right the ship after a disastrous stretch.

Background Leading to Suspension

On December 4th, 2023, Draymond Green violently punched teammate Jordan Poole during a practice altercation. Green immediately apologized to Poole and the team, but was still handed an indefinite suspension from the team by the Warriors a few days later.

The incident brought into question Green’s future with the team. As a 4-time NBA champion and Defensive Player of the Year winner, Green had come to epitomize the Warriors’ identity during their dynasty run over the past decade. However, at 33 years old and with his production declining, many wondered if this would be the last straw for his Warriors tenure.

Green is in the first year of a $100 million contract extension signed in the 2022 offseason. With 4 years remaining on the deal after this season, trading or releasing Green would be an extreme financial burden. It was apparent after the suspension that the Warriors wanted to wait for things to blow over before making any definitive decisions on Green’s future.

Struggles Without Green

In the 3 weeks since Green was suspended, the Warriors have posted a dreadful 4-10 record, including going 1-6 on a recent road trip against several lottery-bound teams. Their defense, which Green anchors, has fallen to 20th in the league after finishing #2 last season. The team chemistry and emotional leadership he provides have also clearly been missing.

Several Warriors players and coaches have cited missing Green as a primary reason for the team’s massive struggles. Star guard Steph Curry said after a recent loss “We really miss [Draymond’s] presence out there. It’s noticeable every night.” Head coach Steve Kerr added “We desperately need Draymond back to right the ship here.”

Statistic Before Suspension After Suspension
Record 13-11 4-10
Defensive Rating 104.2 (4th) 114.3 (20th)
Net Rating +3.9 (8th) -5.4 (23rd)

As the table shows, the team has regressed in every area without Green’s contributions on and off the court.

Green Preparing for Return

According to reports from Warriors insiders and national NBA reporters, Green has recently begun preparations to rejoin team activities. The Athletic’s Warriors beat reporter Anthony Slater says “Green is using the team practice facility again and contacting teammates to repair relationships.” An anonymous Warriors player also told Slater “Draymond has been putting in the work to fix what he broke. He seems ready to get back on the court with us.”

While a firm return date has not been set, head coach Steve Kerr says the team is “hopeful to have [Green] back within the next week.” NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that Green is “inching closer towards return from suspension.”

The Warriors only have 4 more games over the next 10 days before embarking on a critical 6-game East coast road trip. Getting Green back before or at the start of that trip would provide a much-needed boost. Kerr is giving Green space for now but recognizes the team desperately needs their emotional leader. “It’s important we let him work back on his own terms” Kerr stated, “But Draymond’s presence and leadership are integral for us getting back on track.”

What Green’s Return Means

Getting their 4-time All-Star back fixes several issues for the reeling Warriors squad. As a elite and versatile defender, Green immediately improves their porous defense and allows the team to return to the suffocating switching scheme that brought them recent titles. Kerr can also reinsert Green into his customary playmaking point-center role on offense that was critical during their championship runs.

Additionally, Green’s return should rejuvenate the team emotionally. His infectious passion, energy, and leadership have been trademark characteristics throughout his tenure. Veterans like Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kerr will certainly embrace having their emotional leader back in the fold as they look to save their flailing season.

However, Green’s reinstatement doesn’t fix everything. The team still has flaws with shooting, depth, and size in their frontcourt. They also must continue monitoring the situation between Green and Poole. While the two appear to be making amends, any lingering animosity could derail the team down the stretch.

Green likely returns to a minutes restriction and monitored role initially. But make no mistake, his presence back on the court and in the locker room should provide a much-needed boost to the reeling Warriors. If the former Defensive Player of the Year can regain his 2020-21 form, he could help anchor another playoff run this spring.

What’s Next

In the immediate future, all eyes are on when Kerr officially reinstates Green to start playing again. League sources expect an announcement by early next week, before or at the start of their upcoming road trip. Integrating Green after a month’s absence could take time, but the Warriors hope his return swiftly gets them back on track.

Further down the line, Green’s reinstatement puts the ball in his court in terms of his Warriors future. If he reverts to his declining play of early this season, rumors of an offseason trade from Golden State will persist. But if the fiery forward regains his defensive dominance of old and keeps himself in check emotionally, he likely retires a Warrior with a few more titles under his belt.

For now, the return of Draymond Green finally gives the struggling Warriors a much-needed boost. Getting their heart and soul back could help the dynastic team right the ship this season before time runs out on their aging championship core.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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