Draymond Green: The Golden State Warriors' Greatest Asset or Biggest Liability?


Written by Morgan Harding (@morganbharding) on 22 October 2016

Draymond Green, the resident bad boy at the Golden State Warriors. He’s a problematic favorite for many fans. More controversy has arisen after resident Warrior Marreese Speights denied comments he’d allegedly made about his teammate, Green.

He apparently said, “Draymond f***ed up practice and sh*t. Draymond’s a good guy, but I think at the end of the day, it hurt the whole chemistry of the year." If Speights is right, it begs the question, is Green the Warriors' greatest asset or biggest liability?

We all know Green isn’t a token good boy and his behavior has defied the level-headedness of coaching staff, management, teammates and fans.

Remember back in 2015 when Green made the drunken speech at the Championship Parade? If you missed it, here it is:

And of course, the infamous ‘Dray dick-pic’ that hit the streets during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters relayed information that an outburst had occurred from the Warriors bench during the team's February 27th win over Oklahoma City Thunder. Salters' colleague at ESPN, Ethan Strauss, reported his notes of the verbal commotion including back-and-forth between Green and head coach Steve Kerr. "Inside the visitors’ locker room, he’s hollering ‘I am not a robot!’ at Kerr. When Kerr tells him to sit down, Green screams, ‘Mothe***cker, come sit me down!’ When he goes after Kerr, his teammates, including [Stephen] Curry and [Klay] Thompson, step in to stave off disaster."

Strauss also reported that Green’s teammates later voted to fine him. Strauss further reported that there is hesitation from the coaching staff to keep Green’s behavior in check because they don’t want to throw off his game, however, this has caused extreme friction between teammates and Kerr.

If an individual is causing this much trouble, the reasonable thing to do would be to trade him off, right? But this is where it gets really tricky. It’s almost a unanimous opinion that if Green had not been suspended for the 5th game in the finals against the Cavaliers, the Warriors would have had a much greater chance at winning it. Not just that, Green’s on-court statistics are phenomenal.

Green was an absolute engine who initiated play like a point guard and intimidated in defense. He finished the game against the Trail Blazers with 23 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks and a steal in just 37 minutes of play. Furthermore, he posted the best plus/minus in the contest with a finish of +24.

Andrew Bogut definitely rated Green with his comments.“Draymond is huge for us. His playmaking ability, his defensive ability. He’s probably the best all-around player in the league at this point.” 

The Warrior has one of the best RPM’s in the league. With both offensive (ORPM) and defensive (DRPM) components, Green sticks out as one of just two players to place in the top 10 in both categories and just one of four to place in the top 25.

- Draymond Green: No. 10 in ORPM, No. 3 in DRPM
- Kawhi Leonard: No. 9 in ORPM, No. 5 in DRPM
- LeBron James: No. 3 in ORPM, No. 25 in DRPM
- Nikola Jokic: No. 25 in ORPM, No. 10 in DRPM

In the 2015/16 season, Green managed to post 13 triple doubles, which is second only to Russell Westbrook with 18 in 2016. Green is tied for fifth-most since 1983-1984:

- 2016 Russell Westbrook: 18
- 1989 Magic Johnson: 17
- 1987 Fat Lever: 16
- 1989 Michael Jordan: 15
- 2016 Draymond Green: 13
- 1997 Grant Hill: 13
- 1991 Magic Johnson: 13
- 2008 Jason Kidd: 13
- 1988 Magic Johnson: 12
- 2007 Jason Kidd: 12

What’s even more beneficial about Green is his talent for mixing and matching with different teammates, seemingly having strong chemistry with each one. The 2015/16 season showed how well he functioned with different frontcourt trios, having posted positive net ratings for each. A Barnes, Green, Bogut trio managed +14.6 in 607 minutes. Iguodala, Green, Ezeli reached +33.4 in 269 minutes and Iguodala, Green and Speights got an incredible +23.5 in just 100 minutes.

Green plays incredible basketball. He plays hard and intelligent. He can shoot almost anywhere and hit the glass on both ends. He has impeccable vision and reads the ball incredibly well with targeted passes to assist and unbelievable protection of the rim. Green is extremely versatile.

As for the question of problematic or integral, I really cannot answer that. But one thing is for sure, the management team should probably try and quell Green so these problems don’t escalate and the Warriors can ride off into the sunset with a shiny new ring.

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