OAKLAND – Jeff Van Gundy doesn't flinch when stating his opinions, and he has another strong one that relates to the Warriors.
After spending last spring campaigning for Mark Jackson to be retained as Warriors coach, Van Gundy spent Wednesday night extolling the virtues of Warriors forward Draymond Green.
During the ESPN telecast of the game, in which Green had a career-high 24 points, Van Gundy remarked that Green, who will be a restricted free agent next July, could get as much as $12 million per season.
"I think he's going to get $10-to-$12 million," Van Gundy said as the Warriors were routing the Clippers.
Green, making $915,000 this season, acknowledged Thursday that he had heard the comment and, of course, appreciated such praise from someone who is not his agent.
But he also urged restraint.
"It's four games into the season," Green said. "It's a long season. So I just have to continue to worry about what I can control, and that's going out and playing hard. All that stuff will take care of itself when it's time.
"I appreciate that," he added, grinning after brief pause. "I definitely appreciate that. And, obviously, of course I heard it – from friends, text messages. We live in the social media age. Of course, I read it and saw it. That's great. It's a blessing and I'm thankful for that.
"But it's four games into the season. If I start worrying about $10 (million) or $12 million right now, I'm going to get 2 (million)."
Van Gundy last March and April repeatedly expressed confusion about why Jackson's job would be in jeopardy but his opinion did not sway Warriors CEO Joe Lacob.
And now Van Gundy is stumping for Green, who obviously hopes the analyst will be able to influence the Warriors – or any team willing to offer such a handsome salary.