Player: Draymond Green
Salary: $14.26 million in first year of a five-year, $82 million contract signed in July 2015.
2014-15 in review: What a year it was for Green, who first established himself as a starter, then proved indispensible and parlayed it into a gaudy new contract.
Green opened the season as the replacement for incumbent power forward David Lee, who was injured in the preseason. Green’s value quickly took flight. He and center Andrew Bogut combined to provide highly formidable defense anywhere near the basket. Green also proved adept at chasing shooters out beyond the arc.
Though Green’s 3-point shooting ran hot and cold, his ability to make an impact on the game through a variety of ways –- rebounds, steals, blocks, screens, passes, communications –- were so crucial that coach Steve Kerr couldn’t afford to give the 6-foot-7 Michigan State product long periods of rest.
Green finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting –- despite having the most first-place votes -– and became the third player in team history to be named to the All-Defense First Team. He also finished second in the Most Improved Player voting. He finished second in Plus/Minus (+10.6) and third in Net Rating (16.5)
2015-15 outlook: Green has affirmed his place as a fixture, the second-most important player on a championship team. He must continue to lead, on and off the court, while maintaining a balance between composure and passion.
Green will seek to improve in two specific areas: judgment and shooting accuracy. In an attempt to push the pace, he sometimes dribbles into trouble, which leads to turnovers. His 3-pointer is a threat but the coaches want to more consistency.
With a lucrative new deal in his pocket, Green’s quest is to prove he can bring the same intensity while increasing his production and efficiency.