Santa Fe New Mexican

With sustainabi­lity in mind, Warriors pay Green $100M

- By Ben Golliver

Now that the dust has settled from a cataclysmi­c NBA Finals and Kevin Durant’s departure, there is an unmistakab­le drumbeat emanating from the Golden State Warriors that signals, “don’t forget about us.”

Stephen Curry said recently that he “loves” hearing the narrative that the “Warriors are done,” and Klay Thompson piped up to add that those who think Golden State’s “dynasty is over [are] a little ignorant.”

While Durant was only one of many high-profile departures this summer, the Warriors have responded to their postseason turbulence and offseason upheaval by solidifyin­g their original championsh­ip foundation. After first signing Thompson to a five-year, $190 million max contract in early July, Golden State has agreed to sign Draymond Green to a four-year, $100 million max contract extension Saturday. ESPN first reported the deal.

Green, 29, averaged 7.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last season, earning alldefensi­ve honors for the fifth straight year. The three-time AllStar and 2017 defensive player of the year has won three titles and reached the Finals five times with the Warriors, and his promotion to the starting lineup in 2014 was launched their era of excellence.

The new agreement ensures that Golden State’s core trio will be under contract together for at least the next three seasons. Curry is locked up through 2021-22, Thompson through 2023-24 and Green, who had been on track to become an unrestrict­ed free agent next summer, through 2023-24. D’Angelo Russell, a scoring guard who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets in a sign-and-trade for Durant, is also signed through 2022-23.

When Green signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports back in March, some wondered whether he was laying the groundwork for an exit or a massive payday. By agreeing early, Green passed on the possibilit­y of signing a five-year max contract worth more than $200 million as one of the biggest names in a weak 2020 free agency crop.

Paul, perhaps best known for his aggressive play to land Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers with his close friend LeBron James, has shown the ability to throw a change-up in negotiatio­ns, too. He landed Eric Bledsoe a sensible fouryear extension with the Milwaukee Bucks in early March, and here he ensured that Green will remain with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft.

 ?? TONY AVELAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO ?? The Warriors and Draymond Green have agreed on a four-year extension worth $100 million.
TONY AVELAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO The Warriors and Draymond Green have agreed on a four-year extension worth $100 million.

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