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It may be difficult to envision Draymond Green in anything other than a Golden State Warriors jersey, but he at least considered the Memphis Grizzlies this past offseason after declining his player option for the 2023-24 campaign.
“An eensy bit of time,” he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic when asked if he ever thought about joining the Grizzlies this past offseason as they pursued him.
He wasn’t the only one who briefly thought it could happen, as teammate Stephen Curry said he thought it was a possibility for “a day” while he was on vacation during the summer.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported in June that Memphis pursued Green before it traded for Marcus Smart. The Michigan State product would have fit the Grizzlies as a physical defender who isn’t afraid to mix it up with opposing teams and dominate games in ways other than scoring the ball.
He is also accustomed to playing alongside a star guard in Curry and could have used some of those two-man-game skills in partnership with Ja Morant.
Yet he ultimately agreed to a new four-year, $100 million deal with the Warriors, keeping him with the only NBA team he has ever known.
It’s probably for the best for him considering Memphis is 18-31 and has dealt with several injuries, including a season-ending setback to Morant. The playoffs are a long shot at this point.
Golden State is also outside the playoff picture looking in at 21-24, although it is just a half-game back of the Utah Jazz for the play-in tournament. It has also won two in a row after defeating the Grizzlies in Friday’s contest.
Green is back in the lineup after he was suspended twice earlier this season for putting Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert in a chokehold and then later hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić.
Perhaps the stability and veteran leadership provided by having him back in the lineup will help the Warriors make a late run, which are things that would not have been available if he chose the Grizzlies.