Video of Draymond Green Punching Jordan Poole in the Face Leaked

Somebody from the Warriors organization leaked it to TMZ:

There’s no audio, so we don’t know what Jordan Poole said to Draymond to get under his skin. But you have to imagine there was some jawing going on between the two. Draymond then walks over to Poole, gets right in his face, then Poole shoves him, and then Draymond just unloads on him, knocking him backward into the wall, where Poole basically collapsed and then Draymond kept going after him. It looked like Draymond tried to get him with a left, too–like a one-two combo. Immediately, they were surrounded and separated by like 7 different guys.

The weird thing is that nobody else in the area really paid much attention to what was going on until Draymond punched him. Even when Draymond got in his face, nobody really cared.

That’s interesting, to me. Because you have to assume they were talking shit to each other prior to the dust-up. There’s no way nobody else heard the back-and-forth–Draymond and Poole were pretty far away from each other. So it had to have been pretty loud. And yet still nobody stepped in to get between them before it could escalate to blows.

This is just my theorizing here but maybe this is a regular occurrence in Warriors practice nowadays? Maybe Draymond and Poole talk shit to each other all the time. That would explain why nobody really batted an eye in the run up to the punch. Like everyone else was just thinking, “Okay, Draymond and Poole chirping at each other again.”

What I’m getting at here is I think there’s some real animosity between Draymond and Jordan Poole. I think they genuinely don’t like each other. And it’s not just because Poole is the cocky, hot-shot youngster who doesn’t know when to stop running his mouth.

I think there’s an overriding sense that Jordan Poole is the reason Draymond Green will not finish his career with the Warriors. Draymond knows it, too. The Warriors are working on a contract extension for Poole, who is currently on a rookie deal. Just the other day, news broke that the Heat gave Tyler Herro a 4-year, $130 million contract. In my opinion, that’s a ludicrous sum of money to pay a player like him–the Heat really paid $130 million just because Tyler Herro snarled his lip during the bubble.

But right or wrong, that is now the going rate for a 6th-man sharpshooter. Jordan Poole is a pretty similar player to Tyler Herro–definitely not as good as Herro, but close. So Poole won’t get a 4 year, $130 million deal, he’ll get something a bit below it.

Either way you slice it, though, the Warriors are about to be paying Jordan Poole upwards of $26-27 million a year once the contract is signed (Herro averages $32 million a year now with his new deal).

The thing is that Draymond Green wants the bag. He wants a new deal, too. And there’s no doubt he feels like he deserves it over Poole. He’s been there longer, he’s done way more for that franchise, he’s been on four Championship teams–he feels like his new contract should take precedent over Poole’s.

But the Warriors probably look at it a bit differently. Yes, Draymond has done so much for them, and yes, Draymond is the anchor of their defense, an emotional leader of the team, and in many ways their best offensive distributor. Draymond is incredibly valuable.

He’s also 32 years old and about to turn 33 in March. He had some rough games in the playoffs this past season, and only played 46 games in the regular season. I think the Warriors are looking at Poole, who is only 23, and thinking he’s a much better long-term investment for the franchise than Draymond.

I am not sure if the Warriors actually have to choose between Draymond and Poole. They still have Draymond under contract for this year, and then he has a player option for the 2024 season. But they do have to give Jordan Poole an extension by October 17 or else he becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

The problem is that the Warriors’ salary is through the roof already:

The Warriors have 4 guys making over $25 million a year, and it’s about to be 5 when Jordan Poole gets his extension. He’s going to go from making $3.9 million a year to making close to $30 million a year. And absent a new deal for Draymond, he will be making more money than Draymond makes. That right there is going to piss Draymond off, but the main thing here is this growing sense that the Warriors can only keep one of them–or, rather, the Warriors are only willing to keep one of them.

I’m sure the Warriors are happy to keep paying Draymond what he’s owed after they give Poole a new contract, but a new, bigger contract for Draymond? I just don’t see how the Warriors can afford it. Draymond says he wants the bag.

From my understanding of Spotrac’s cap figures, the Warriors will have a luxury tax bill for the 2023 season of $170 million dollars. That means that when added on to their $189 million team salary, they are currently a $360 million team. And to my understanding, the luxury tax gets worse and worse the more consecutive years you are in it. So with Poole getting the bag and pushing the team deeper into the luxury tax, it makes their luxury tax bill go up even more.

I’m going to defer to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports to sort this out:

A year ago, Warriors general manager Bob Myers hinted at $400 million as an upper limit on Golden State’s payroll … but with an interesting caveat coming off a play-in loss. “Even if my owner Joe wanted to do that, I think he’d have to fire me if we paid $400 million and didn’t we a championship or something of that nature,” Myers said at the time. Well, the Warriors just won a championship, and they’ll be in the hunt again next season. They have the capacity to re-sign most of their own free agents through their own Bird rights or through cap exceptions. And based on what those players are likely to cost, that $400 million limit is probably going to be in the rearview mirror in the very near future. So let’s take a look at Golden State’s finances. Where are they now? How high could they conceivably go? And where are they realistically going to end up?

Before the Warriors make a single move, they’ll start the offseason with a total of nine players (one of which will be a draft pick) making roughly $24 million more than the projected $149 million tax figure. Using this very handy publicly available luxury tax calculator, we can calculate the $85 million bill that would come with this partially-formed roster.

With 60 percent of a roster in place, the Warriors are already set to pay over $258 million for their players. That’s more than every team except the Clippers and Nets paid last season, and we still have six roster spots left to fill. Even if we took the cheapest possible route available to us by limiting the roster to 14 players and signing rookies for those five necessary slots at $953,000 apiece, the Warriors would still wind up with a final combined payroll of $287 million next season. Spoiler alert: The Warriors aren’t going to sign five undrafted free agents. So here is the most expensive conceivable scenario: The one in which Golden State keeps all of its core players in place.

So by this point, we’re looking at a team salary of $173 million plus a luxury tax bill of $85 million for a total bill of $258 million. And that’s only for the following 9 players: Steph, Klay, Draymond, Wiggins, Wiseman, Kuminga, Poole, Moody, and their first round draft pick, Patrick Baldwin.

Now, since Quinn wrote this article on June 22nd, he was just guessing as to which players would fill the remaining 6 roster spots. He guessed that it would be Gary Payton II, Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, Kevon Looney and two vet minimum guys.

In reality, the Warriors brought back only Looney. Payton went to the Blazers, Porter went to the Raptors, and Bjelica opted to go back home to Europe to play ball there. The Warriors brought back Iguodala for another year, they brought in Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green, and then Ryan Rollins got the last roster spot.

In Quinn’s scenario, the Warriors would have had a salary of $206 million, a luxury tax bill of an eye-popping $300 million, for a total team price tag of $506 million.

However, bearing in mind Bob Myers’ comments about $400 million being the upper limit that team owner Joe Lacob was willing to pay, Quinn went to work whittling down the number. He got it down to $196 million team salary, $228 million luxury tax bill, for a total price tag of $425 million.

But again, that was Quinn’s guess. I’m pretty sure the real number is going to be $359 million and change for the 2022-23 Warriors, if I’m reading Spotrac correctly.

I have no idea how a Jordan Poole contract extension would increase that number because the more you go into the luxury tax, the repeater tax bill increases exponentially. That’s how you saw the Warriors having a theoretical $206 million team salary with a $300 million luxury tax bill vs. a $196 million team salary and a $228 million luxury tax bill. That extra ten million dollars in team salary made the luxury tax bill increase by $72 million. See what I mean? I just don’t know the rules for the repeater tax, so I can’t give you a number for what the Warriors’ luxury tax bill would look like if they started paying Jordan Poole an additional, say, $24 million a year. Their team salary increases from $189 million to $213 million, and that would sent their luxury tax bill into the stratosphere.

The bottom line here is that it very much looks like a situation where the Warriors have to choose between Jordan Poole and Draymond Green.

And both guys know it, too.

Obviously the Warriors could just opt not to extend Poole, let him enter restricted free agency a year from now, and then match any contract offer he’s given, just like the Suns did with Deandre Ayton a few months ago.

But sooner or later, it seems like the Warriors are going to have to choose between Poole and Green.

I think that punch was Draymond’s frustrations boiling over.

Look what Trae Young tweeted out:

Maybe so. Trae Young would know better than any of us.

Draymond and LeBron were very publicly BFF’ing it up all summer. It doesn’t take a genius to ascertain that Draymond is making it clear he has options.

I’m not sure if he wants to be traded to the Lakers (nor do I think the Lakers could even pull it off given the fact that they have Russell Westbrook). But Bill Simmons worked something out in the trade machine and found a way to make it happen:

Westbrook to the Pacers, Myles Turner to the Warriors, and then Draymond Green and Buddy Hield get shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Apparently it works out in terms of the salaries.

Look, Draymond is an emotional guy and sometimes he lets his emotions get the best of him. We’ve seen it plenty of times, it’s well-documented. He had his beefs with Kevin Durant. He’s got a history of confronting his teammates and causing issues inside the locker room.

But this just feels different–like he knows he’s on the way out in Golden State because of Jordan Poole, and he just can’t stand Poole.

I think in a few years, we’ll look back on this as the beginning of the end of Draymond Green’s time with the Warriors. I think they were already planning on choosing Poole over him, this cements it.

People are getting hung up on what Jordan Poole could’ve possibly said to Draymond to set Draymond off like that. This is missing the point.

It’s not like those two were best buddies prior to this. Just the opposite: Draymond was already predisposed to disliking Poole because he sees Poole as a threat to his job and his livelihood. Draymond has BEEN looking at Poole like Poole is trying to eat his lunch and take away his livelihood.

At that point, any little thing can set you off. We all know how it is; when you already don’t like somebody, anything they say will piss you off and push you over the edge. It doesn’t matter what it is: you just can’t stand that person at all. Even the way they look, their mannerisms, the sound of their voice, the way they walk–everything about them pisses you off.

It doesn’t help that Jordan Poole is reported to be an arrogant guy (and not surprising considering where he went to college).

I’m sure Jordan Poole was running his mouth, or made some snarky comment to Draymond, and Draymond’s fuse for Jordan Poole was already short to begin with–kaboom.

This is the beginning of the end of Draymond in Golden State. I don’t think he can co-exist with Jordan Poole long term, nor do I think Poole wants anything to do with him going forward. They might be able to bury the hatchet for this season in pursuit of another championship, but they aren’t going to be teammates long-term. And if the Warriors are forced to choose between the two, which I think is likely, they’re going to choose Jordan Poole.

I think after this season, Draymond will opt out of his deal and sign with the Lakers. That’s what I see happening. I think Draymond already knows the Warriors are trying to push him out, and that’s got him on edge.

The fact that this situation has already boiled over and come to blows BEFORE the regular season has even began is not a good sign.

Honestly, I would not be shocked if the Warriors trade him in the middle of the season, because I’m assuming there’s going to be tension between him and Poole all season long. You just can’t have that in your locker room; you can’t have that hanging over everything. It’s going to split the locker room in two–other guys are going to be forced to choose sides. It’s not conducive to winning at all.

This is not football where you have a 53-man roster, the offense generally separated from the defense–in football, if two guys have beef, they can avoid each other for the most part.

But in basketball, no way. There’s only 15 guys on the roster. You are around those guys every single day. There is no avoiding each other. This is going to destroy the team chemistry in Golden State if both guys remain there.

Don’t just take it from me, either. Take it from an actual NBA player:

People just think the Warriors are some magical team where the normal rules don’t apply to them. People just think the Golden State Magic will fix this magically.

Not gonna happen. It’s over.

This is the beginning of the end of Draymond in Golden State. I think by this time next year, he will be on the Lakers. It’ll either be an in-season trade like Bill Simmons proposed above, or it’ll be after he opts out of his deal and becomes a free agent.

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