Warriors veteran believes franchise tried to replace him over 5-6 year period

Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors
Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

On the completion of his 12th NBA season, Draymond Green remains one of only three current players, alongside Golden State Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to play that length of time with only one franchise.

Yet it appears Green may not have always felt secure in his role with the Warriors, and no not because of his list of indiscretions over the last decade which includes two seperate suspensions this season.

Veteran forward Draymond Green belies the Golden State Warriors drafted to try and replace him over a five or six-year period

Speaking on his podcast with long-time teammate Kevon Looney following Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Green revealed his belief that Golden State's draft strategy was designed to replace him even despite still being in his mid 20's.

"The Warriors kept drafting people to like get me out of there for 5-6 years...It was like Loon, then JB (Jordan Bell), then like Eric Paschall, Smiley (Alen Smailagić)...The Warriors kept drafting people to replace me."

Draymond Green

The 34-year-old went on to detail how that belief didn't impact his attempts to try and educate younger teammates, an element derived from David Lee's attitude after Green himself replaced the veteran forward as a starter in the 2014-15 season.

Ultimately none of those players ever came close to replacing Green, with Looney's early injury issues hampering his athleticism before developing into a strong starting center. Bell played 126 total games for the Warriors, Paschall just 100 despite being All-Rookie First Team in 2020, and Smailagić just 29 games over two seasons.

Golden State may now have found their long-term replacement in Jonathan Kuminga, though the franchise might hope the 21-year-old's jump-shot comes along to the point where he can play small-forward alongside Green.

It's actually Looney who has now faced the prospect of being replaced, having been supplanted in the starting lineup and rotation by rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis this season. The 28-year-old's future is now under some uncertainty, with the potential of the Warriors cutting Looney within the next fortnight.