September 30, 2022

It was a bittersweet week for the Warriors, who saw several fan favorites leave in free agency.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica each signed elsewhere, ending their tenure with Golden State on the highest possible note, winning a championship.

On the latest episode of ‘The Draymond Green Show,’ the Warriors forward addressed his former teammates’ every move, disappointed to see them go, but ultimately excited about their next opportunities.

“First of all I want to congratulate Gary Payton II – GP2,” said Green. “Well deserved man. At 29 a guy who kept grinding and grinding and grinding. I was looking at GP Wikipedia a few days ago and just looking at the teams he’s been on… and never gave up.

“Extremely happy for him. Not happy to see him go, but still happy to see the guys get their money back… so to see GP get their due, I thought that was absolutely amazing, I’m happy for GP . Congratulations. CHAMPION.”

Porter Jr., who signed a two-year, $12.3 million deal with the Toronto Raptors, will be closer to his wife’s family, which Draymond understands and has nothing but love for. veteran striker.

“I thought it was huge for Otto, I’m very happy for Otto,” Green added. “Congratulations champ. Otto’s wife…being from Toronto, had the opportunity to be in his hometown, I think it’s amazing. That Otto is coming to the Warriors and re-establishing his career as he did it and help us win a championship, we will definitely miss him, his shot, his length, his competitive nature that he brought us all year But take your money it’s all love, congratulations brother. I look forward to Otto continuing to do great things.”

Toscano-Anderson, like Payton II, will remain in the west. The Oakland native has signed a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, allowing him to play alongside LeBron James in a city with strong Mexican-American support, this what Draymond thinks JTA can capitalize on.

“My brother Juan Toscano-Anderson went to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Green explained. “I think it’s an incredible decision on his part, I think it’s an incredible decision on his agent’s part and here’s why. Number one, I think the Lakers need this type of guy, the type of Juan going in, getting him out of the mud and doing all the dirty work. I think that’s important to them from that perspective. On the other hand, Juan as a Mexican-American, like we all know there is a huge Mexican population in Los Angeles so how can he then capitalize on that front Juan has done a lot of things in Mexico to help the community how can he continue to fill that gap with the Mexican fan base and the Mexican community in Los Angeles?

Of all the teammates who left for free agency, Bjelica deciding to leave the Warriors and the NBA and play in Turkey seems to be the decision that stung Draymond the most.

“I’m a little hurt by this one, I had the opportunity to create a very good relationship with Beli and a relationship that, quite frankly, will last longer than him or me playing basketball,” said added Draymond. “But for Beli, I think it was more of a family move than necessarily a business move. Beli has two young children and being closer to his family… it sucks for us, it definitely sucks for us, because that I thought his versatility and what he brought us on the floor, another playmaker on the court and then obviously the way he stretches the floor, I thought that was really good for us. And losing him, I think it stung a bit, extremely happy for him, he’s back closer to his family, and I understand how important it is to have a family of my own.”

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When the Warriors started their offseason, they wanted to retain as many of their players as possible. They re-signed center Kevon Looney but ended up losing a lot of valuable talent to the bench.

First and foremost, Draymond will always be happy for all of his teammates who are looking for a more lucrative opportunity, but certainly, each of those starts has got to sting a bit.

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