For months, the Warriors have strongly hinted if not all but said they will re-sign Draymond Green at all costs. Now it’s time to show their emotional leader the money.
According to an ESPN report, Green, his representatives and team officials are scheduled to meet in Los Angeles tonight. The free agent period begins at 9:01 p.m., and the two sides figure to be at the table not a second later.
On Monday, Green received a qualifying offer, which gave the Warriors the right to match any offer for the restricted free agent. Because the Warriors wield all the leverage, they don’t have to offer the maximum contract that Green seeks at this time. But if the two sides were to be far apart at the outset, the divide could have negative consequences.
Green said he would not schedule other visits unless the two sides failed to reach an agreement. In that case, there would be no shortage of potential suitors — the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks believed to be among them. If Green and the Warriors are smart about this — and there’s reason to believe they will be — the process won’t turn ugly.
The Warriors also exercised their option on Marreese Speights on Monday. No jaw-dropper there. At $3.8 million, the man called Mo Buckets is a relative bargain even if his botched dunk in the NBA Finals threatened to cancel a parade.
It’s mo’ space that the front office has be concerned about now. Specifically, the room that David Lee and his $15.5-million occupy in terms of the salary cap.
The Trail Blazers are prepared lose LaMarcus Aldridge via free agency, most likely to the Los Angeles Lakers or the Dallas Mavericks, we’re told. If and when that happens, Lee may interest them as an experienced, low-risk alternative for one season, after which his contract expires.
The Champs can only hope so. Ideally, they would like to re-sign Green to a longterm contract, come to terms with Justin Holiday, James Michael McAdoo, Ognjen Kuzmic, first-rounder Kevon Looney and possibly Leandro Barbosa and stay $4 million under the tax line, which would allow them to retain Green and their mid-level and bi-annual player exceptions as well as keep their tax bill to a minimum ($1.50 on the dollar).
Now that you’re thoroughly confused, here’s the Cliffs Notes version: In order to retain Green and maintain roster flexibility, Lee has to be moved, preferably in return for a first-round draft choice. That would take nearly $14.5 million off the books, or almost enough to pay for Green’s salary next season.
DON’T BANK ON DETROIT: A part of Green remains in Michigan, where he was born, and after Saturday, he probably misses the place a bit more. An estimated 1,000 supporters turned out for Dray Day in his hometown of Saginaw, which is about one hour from Auburn Hills, where the Pistons play their home games.
“Give him the key to the bank!” one fan pleaded, according to the Detroit Free Press.
When Green becomes a free agent again, it’s conceivable the Pistons will do just that. With a monstrous league television deal in place, $15 million may be chump change by then. But after Warriors general manager Bob Myers reiterated the intent to keep the core group together the other day, some believed the Pistons would not waste their time on a max offer that would be matched later. They recently acquired Ersan Ilyasova, who like Green played power forward.
Asked whether her son would re-up with the Champs, Mary Babers-Green said, “We hope so. We’ll see.”
AHEAD TO THE PAST: Could the Raiders be headed back to the L.A. Coliseum, of all places?
The NFL issued proposal requests to potential sites that could serve as temporary homes for either the Raiders or the San Diego Chargers or both next season. They include the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl, whose tenants (USC and UCLA) have the right to veto share programs.
That flies in the face of a San Diego Union-Tribune report, which speculates that the team owners may want to delay the final decision to allow for more time and the best possible outcome. Which may be another way to say, “Don’t take our NFL team, because we got nothing else to cover!”
JUST ASKIN’: Why does Balls get the feeling that the Chargers are playing the Raiders like a prevent defense on third-and-inches in this stadium deal?
SHARK BAIT: The Calgary Flames may not re-sign free agent goalie Karri Ramo before the Wednesday deadline, which may give the Sharks an excuse to sign an NHL-caliber goaltender before the start of next season.
According to his representative, Ramo has been courted by at least five teams in recent days. According to the agent exchange rate, that means two or three.
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