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Warriors suspend Draymond Green for postgame comments in locker room

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The play itself that sparked everything was ugly.

With :06 seconds left in a tie game against the Clippers Monday night, watch Draymond Green grab the rebound and try to go the length of the court for the game-winner himself — only to fumble the ball away without a shot — while Kevin Durant, who should take that shot (or the hot Klay Thompson at that point), claps his hands and calls for the ball.

On the bench after that play got uglier with an argument between Green and Durant where Green allegedly even called KD his “b****” before Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins stepped in as peacemakers. In the locker room later the argument continued and was nasty as there has been in this era of the Warriors. It wasn’t just Durant, a lot of players questioned and called out Green’s decision, while Green defended himself angrily, and questioning KD on his free agency next summer.

All of it crossed a line, and Green has been suspended for a night and will sit against Atlanta, without pay.

From Chris Haynes at Yahoo Sports:

Green repeatedly called Durant “a bitch” after he was called out by the two-time NBA Finals MVP in the huddle for not passing him the ball, sources said. The organization is of the belief that Green cut too deep in his disagreement with Durant, sources said.

Klay Thompson, who is typically reserved, spoke up in the locker room to the surprise of his teammates about the altercation and stressed the importance of sticking together, sources said.

Durant is not making his free agency decision — he is expected to opt out of the last year of his contract before July — based on this one incident. But it seems to point to an overall tension around the team as it knows it could be the last year of this specific Warriors team.

Long term, Durant and Green will get over it — they had public arguments before then were hanging out at a baseball game together the next night. They will put it behind them.

But it’s just something to remember come next July.

Steve Kerr on DeMarcus Cousins: ‘We’re not going to have the money to sign him next year’

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Will DeMarcus Cousins be a member of the Golden State Warriors next season? Not according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kerr acknowledged that Cousins’ one-year deal with the team was explicitly signed as a means to help the veteran big man find success in the postseason. Kerr also said that Golden State will not have the money to sign Cousins next year.

Via Twitter:

At least Kerr is being open about it.

Golden State is about to enter a serious cap space crunch. Kevin Durant can opt out of his current contract this summer, and Klay Thompson‘s current deal expires at the same time. Draymond Green‘s deal will expire at the end of next season, so there is lots to think about in the Bay Area before considering whether Cousins could be part of that mix.

Nobody really thought that he would stick around, and this is just another vote of confidence that Boogie will need to find a new team next year.

Alvin Gentry pissed by mischaracterization of postgame talk with DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis

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You might have seen a video of DeMarcus Cousins having what looks like might be a heated conversation with Anthony Davis and Alvin Gentry after Cousins’ Warriors beat the Pelicans, Cousins’ former team, Wednesday.

You probably didn’t see the above version.

That shows Cousins warmly embracing the New Orleans star and coach before the talk and Gentry laughing afterward. If that weren’t enough context, Gentry provided more.

Sean Highkin:

Yes, Davis called Cousins the “enemy” for leaving the Pelicans for Golden State. But that was in a everyone-not-on-New-Orleans-is-the-enemy sense. There’s clearly a bond between those two.

Now, there’s even more reason to see one between Cousins and Gentry, too.

Cousins appearing sassy – without hearing what anyone is saying – shouldn’t have been taken so seriously. It was all in good fun.

DeMarcus Cousins ejected from Warriors game. From the bench.

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The Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins has a reputation for being volatile and earning technical fouls.

Referee Scott Foster has a reputation for a quick trigger.

Combine them and you get Cousins being ejected while in street clothes on the bench against the Knicks Friday night.

Did Cousins say something that crossed the line, or was this another case of a referee out of control? An ejection after one technical is rare, it usually means something extreme, but we don’t know what was said.

While Cousins has started doing limited practices with the team, he is not near a return to the court.

The Warriors won the game, 128-100.

Rumor: NBA executives expect Kevin Durant to leave Warriors; still watching Kyrie Irving

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It’s impossible to overstate this: Next summer’s NBA free agency is going to be INSANE. Nearly half the players in the NBA will be or can be free agents, around 10 teams will have max cap space and another 10-12 will have enough cap space to be significant players and chase guys. It is going to be player movement bordering on anarchy.

How are NBA front offices preparing for this?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN has a fascinating piece on this that covers a number of players, but here are the highlights:

Many believe the Golden State Warriors are going to win the title again and will still break up in some way next season. This is essentially a referendum on Kevin Durant‘s upcoming free agency, not so much Klay Thompson‘s, though some executives also wonder what will happen with Draymond Green….

Many believe multiple top free agents will relocate next summer. This would include Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler (for now) and DeMarcus Cousins. But there are two more names on executives’ lips: Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving

Now you might be saying why is Irving included? He declared that he’s re-signing with the Boston Celtics and that’s that. Irving seems genuinely happy in Boston and is thrilled with the current makeup and direction of the team. And he’s ready to accept a five-year, $190 million deal…. As any college coach will tell you, a verbal commitment is just that. Also, the Celtics probably will be willing to make the five-year offer to Irving, but that’s not in stone at this point with Irving’s history of injuries and many months to go.

Let’s expound upon a few of these, in bullet points:

• That teams expect — or at least think it’s likely — Durant bolts the Warriors next summer is nothing new. Everyone is talking about it and Durant is already tired of the topic. The trendy thinking is he will head to New York and the Knicks, but a lot of things could change between now and July. Just don’t expect him to be a Laker — he’s not leaving the Bay Area and Stephen Curry‘s team culture to step into LeBron James‘ shadow.

• I have yet to hear from a source (or read a credible report) that thinks Klay Thompson is leaving Golden State next summer. Everyone believes he stays, likely at the max or very close to it.

• If Draymond Green makes the All-NBA team or is Defensive Player of the Year again, he is eligible for a larger super-max contract — and he wants all of it. No discount coming. The Warriors owners are willing to pay big to keep this contender together, but ultimately there is a line where it costs too much.

• I believe Kyrie Irving when he says he is staying in Boston. That doesn’t mean the reporting is wrong — other teams may well be hoping/planning for him to change his mind. I just wouldn’t bet on it.

As noted earlier today, nothing is happening with Anthony Davis until next summer. At the earliest. After this season the Pelicans are going to offer him the $240 million designated veteran max extension only they can offer. If he turns that down, then things may change. Not before then.

• Cousins absolutely will be in a new uniform.

• All of that is just the tip of the iceberg.