Fully aware of the massive stacks of cash tossed around the NBA on the first day of free agency, Draymond Green and the Warriors decided Wednesday evening that they both need each other to flourish.
Hours after negotiations stalled Wednesday morning, the Warriors and the Green camp reunited and reached agreement on a five-year contract worth $82 million, according to Yahoo Sports.
Green and the Warriors concluded they would not let money or adventure get in the way of their relationship.
Green was set to become a restricted free agent, allowing the power forward the latitude to negotiate with other teams and allowing the Warriors to match any offer that might have come his way.
That process lasted only a few hours before both sides returned to the table.
"I'm excited, thankful and grateful to be back in the Bay," Green, via text message, told national NBA writer Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers issued a statement regarding the negotiations:
Golden State Warriors General Manager Bob Myers announced today that the team has been engaged in negotiations with free agent forward Draymond Green and intends to re-sign him to a player contract at the conclusion of the NBA Moratorium Period.
The contract falls just short of a max deal. Green cannot sign the contract until July 9, when the league lifts its moratorium on business.
Making a deal was the obvious conclusion for the NBA champs and a player that values winning above all else – and for two parties that clearly need each other to remain among the league’s elite.
Green, 25, has come a long way in a short time. The three-year veteran, chosen in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2012 draft, replaced an injured David Lee in the starting lineup November and earned the starting job with his effective play.
Green, who made $915,000 last season, made 79 starts, averaging 11.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Crucial to the Warriors leading the NBA in defense, Green finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year balloting and was named to the All-Defense first team.
Moreover, Green became the emotional leader of the Warriors. Coach Steve Kerr referred to him as the “heartbeat” of the team.
Green’s contract is line with a player of his impact. Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers are looking at a five-year deal worth at least $80 million, and Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million pact with the Bucks.
The Warriors were determined to keep Green, who may be their second-most indispensible player after MVP Stephen Curry.