Draymond Green attempted to recruit DeMar DeRozan to the Warriors during free agency in 2021. However, DeRozan didn’t give Green the response he was hoping for. During Thursday’s edition of “The Draymond Green Show,” the four-time NBA champion remembered asking DeRozan to come to the Bay Area.
Though, the former Raptor replied back, “F**k no, I’m not coming there. I’m not coming to play with y’all.” And Green remembered telling him, “We can win a championship if you come to the Warriors.” The timestamp is 29:28 in the YouTube video below.
Maybe the Warriors were better off without DeRozan. What if the front office dealt Andrew Wiggins to acquire the forward? Needless to say, a potential sign-and-trade would have triggered Golden State’s hard cap. Therefore, how would the team afford him?
On Aug. 11, 2021, as part of a sign-and-trade agreement with the Bulls, the 13-year veteran signed a three-year, $82 million contract with the Spurs. The five-time All-Star was traded to Chicago for Al-Forouq Aminu, Thaddeus Young, a 2022 second-round draft pick, a 2025 first-round draft pick and a 2025 second-round draft pick.
Five days earlier, Stephen Curry signed a four-year, $215 million contract extension with the team. Curry’s salary for the 2022-23 season is $48,070,014. DeRozan will earn $27.3 million with the Bulls next season and is set to make $28.6 million in the 2023-24 season.
Draymond Green wanted DeRozan on Warriors, but did they need him?
Even if the Warriors had found a way to take on DeRozan’s contract, it’s not like they needed him. They just won their fourth championship in eight years. In addition to Curry’s record-breaking shooting, some would argue that Kevon Looney’s rim-protection, Klay Thompson’s return from an ACL injury and Andrew Wiggins’ defense were vital components to winning it all last season.
Signing DeRozan probably would have been another Kevin Durant-esque cheat code all over again. A basketball team shouldn’t have to become a superteam to win a championship. It’s a major overkill. For a lot of fans, it sucks the fun out of the sport. It’s like winning NBA Live on Rookie.
When NBA analysts and die-hard fans look back on the Warriors’ dynasty, at least Golden State fans can say that the 2021-22 team got hot at the right time. During the regular season, they weren’t anything special. And that’s not a bad thing. The Suns received all the media attention due to their winning streaks.
Plus, the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant won the NBA Most Improved Player Award. The Warriors won two chips with Durant, and now they’ve won two without him. Since they’ve won four titles with Curry, Green, Thompson and Iguodala, maybe it’s better not to try to fix what isn’t broken.
Last season, on top of averaging 50.4% shooting from the floor and 35.2% from downtown, DeRozan averaged a career-high 27.9 points per game with the Bulls. And he averaged 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. Make no mistake, the forward would have helped Golden State offensively. But defense is a different story.
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