The Warriors have a Draymond Green problem

One of the biggest problems in Golden State can be traced back to one of their big three.
Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Over the last decade-plus, the Golden State Warriors have cemented themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in the illustrious history of the NBA. Winning four championships in eight years behind the winning combination of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors were brought back out of irrelevancy and into the limelight of the association.

In that time, Golden State's three stars showed their ability to adapt to various trying circumstances and stay at the top through a number of changes. After building a homegrown champion in 2015, a top-three player in the world in Kevin Durant joined them in 2016 and changed their entire dynamic.

After five straight NBA Finals appearances and the departure of Durant, injuries and a depleted roster sent the Warriors to the bottom of the standings. But even after spending two full seasons struggling just to get back to the playoffs, Golden State broke through in a way few expected to win their fourth and most special championship in 2022.

Now, as the core three begins to show their age, the Dubs are faced with more unique challenges. The biggest of which being one-third of their dynasty trio, Draymond Green. While still one of Golden State's most important players, Draymond has unfortunately done his team more harm than good as of late.

Draymond Green has been a hindrance to the Warriors' mission

When it comes to his athletic performance, Green has not shown many signs of slowing down. He still brings the same value as a rhythmic, timely defender, offensive connector, and he even showed a vast improvement in his three-point shooting this past season. By all accounts, Draymond is still a plus player for the Warriors when he is on the hardwood.

The problem for one of the greatest defenders of this generation lies not in his athletic talent, but in his mind. Over the course of his entire career but especially lately, Green has had a problem controlling his emotions when it matters most. We are all aware of the Jordan Poole situation in which he erupted on his former teammate and seemingly disrupted some of the chemistry in the locker room.

This past season, Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels got into a small scuffle not even two minutes into a match between the Warriors and Timberwolves. Unprovoked and seemingly for no reason, Draymond opted to put Minnesota's big man Rudy Gobert in a chokehold, which earned him a five-game suspension. Golden State would go 2-3 in the games he missed.

Less than a month later, Green made what appeared to be an unnatural swinging motion which resulted in him landing a blow right to the head of the Suns' Jusuf Nurkic. This earned him an indefinite suspension from the league, which would ultimately amount to 12 missed games. While Draymond was away from the court, his team lost an additional five games.

Fixing Draymond's emotions would greatly benefit the Warriors

The nature of the suspension handed down from the league stemmed from Draymond's "repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts." The biggest reason this situation is such a problem for the Warriors is it handicaps their team when they are already skating on thin ice in a tough-as-nails Western Conference.

Two weeks ago, Golden State's season was ended by Sacramento in the Play-In tournament. It stands to reason that the Dubs would likely not have been in that game at all had they been able to keep one of their most valuable players on the court for an additional 17 games.

Missed time due to injuries are one thing. Certain players have bad luck with injury troubles no matter how well they take care of their bodies. But missing time because you couldn't help yourself from lashing out at an opponent in a basketball game? The reality is that simply shows a lack of control.

The good news here is that this problem is still fixable. Putting Draymond in a mandatory, league-mandated therapy session may or may not have done anything to actually put him on the right track. But if Green can accept on his own volition that he needs to be more diligent with his emotions, it could go a long way toward giving this iteration of the Warriors one last chance at a championship.