It obviously lacks the overall gravity and narrative punch of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala flying to The Hamptons to pitch Kevin Durant. But if the Golden State Warriors repeat as champions next season, there’s a good chance Steve Kerr’s recruiting call to a vacationing JaMychal Green will have nevertheless played a major part in his team’s fifth title in 10 years.
Green officially signed a one-year contract with the Warriors on Monday, just less than two weeks after the deal was first reported.
Don’t mistake the minimum terms of his contract nor late-stage signing as the league’s relatively lacking interest in the veteran forward, though. As Green tells it, he was ready to join another team before getting a random call from Kerr while on vacation in Jamaica.
“Honestly, I didn’t see myself being here at first. I was getting ready to go somewhere else, and I was in Jamaica and I end up getting a call from Steve Kerr,” he said. “So, after talking to him, I just couldn’t tell him no. The organization, what they’ve built over there, I just felt I’d love to be a part of it.”
JaMychal Green couldn’t say no when Steve Kerr came calling 😂 pic.twitter.com/ih0mGKRmsl
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) August 1, 2022
Green struggled with the Denver Nuggets last season, failing to find his jumper en route to career-worst 26.6% shooting from beyond the arc on debilitatingly low volume. But other statistical indicators, including a personal best 61 dunks, don’t suggest a wholesale decline in his athleticism and overall effectiveness.
Green isn’t quite the switch defender he was a few years ago and has lost at least some vertical pop. Still, there’s a chance the market missed on him this summer, scared off from signing a solid frontcourt reserve by a single-season fluke of jump-shooting.
Even if Green’s three-point woes prove more sustained, Golden State could certainly do worse replacing Nemanja Bjelica than with a versatile big who has ample playoff experience. It wouldn’t surprise if he bailed on the Warriors next summer for a bigger contract after rehabbing his value for a contender, either, like Gary Payton II and Otto Porter.
For the Warriors’ sake, it’s a good thing Kerr made the call. For Green’s alone, it’s a good thing he picked up the phone.