Draymond Green has agreed to stay with the Warriors on a five-year, $82 million contract, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears and Grantland's Zach Lowe. That is about $8 million less than the maximum he could have earned, or an average of $1 million less per season.
There was some risk that Green might depart, or at least return with sour feelings. The two sides met as soon as free agency began, but quickly broke off negotiations, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. That fueled speculation that Green might seek out an offer sheet from another team -- Detroit, Atlanta and Houston were possibilities -- and force Golden State to match. Instead, the two sides found common ground.
Prior to last year, most considered Green a role player that was incapable of having a large impact on the court. There was a reason he fell to the second round in the 2012 Draft. But then David Lee went down in training camp and Steve Kerr, in his first year at the helm, inserted Green into the starting lineup. The Warriors never looked back.
Green averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game, but his basic numbers don't properly illustrate his impact. Green served as the core of the Warriors' switch-heavy scheme because he could guard big and small players regularly. He finished second to Kawhi Leonard in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Offensively, Green's outside shooting -- 34 percent from behind the three-point line, a solid number for a big man -- allowed the Warriors to space the floor, and his passing and court vision punished teams for trapping Stephen Curry. The Warriors outscored opponents last season by 16.5 points per 100 possessions when Green was on the floor, the third best number on the team (via NBA.com). When Green sat, that number fell to 2.5, the second lowest on the team.
Letting Green, an essential cog in their championship machine, walk was never an option for the Warriors. Green is a rare commodity: a player who can guard every position on one end and has a complete game on the other. There just aren't many players like him in the league.
With Green under contract, the Warriors have an excellent chance at repeating as NBA champions. Without him they wouldn't.