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The story of Draymond Green sending teary texts to Kevin Durant from the parking lot, begging him to join forces in the Bay Area after the Warriors lost Game 7 of the 2016 Finals has been properly sensationalized. Draymond wasn't crying. The two of them weren't conspiring behind closed doors while they were playing against one another in the conference finals. 

But texts were sent after Golden State blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers. Durant and Green discussed this on an episode of "The ETCS podcast Kevin Durant" back in 2021. 

Durant: "I done heard a couple stories. From my end, we sent some texts on just, 'Yo, I seen that? You seen that? Alright, bet. That's really what it was, bro. It wasn't no urgent FaceTime call. It was exactly what I just said. 'Yo, you see what just happened?' 'Bet. Alright, I'm on the way.'

Green: "That's exactly what it was. It was this whole narrative of, 'You called Kevin crying from the parking lot.' I'm like, 'Yo, this s--t can ... like y'all added a theatrical sense to make this s--t a movie. You got to make s--t for TV, but you got to add on a little bit. So people just started pouring on bro, but I wasn't about to come out and fight it. However y'all think Kevin got here in your mind, just roll with that if that's what helps you out."

All of this is to say, Green was definitely thinking about the possibility of Durant joining the Warriors, and in fact, according to Green, was taking active steps toward making the deal financially feasible long before it actually happened. The summer before, to be exact. 

It was 2015, and Green was in contract negotiations after his rookie deal expired. The Warriors had just won their first championship in 40 years. Green was instrumental in the franchise's meteoric rise and in position to command up to $93M on a max deal from the Warriors. 

Now, here's where some revisionist history could be at play. During a recent appearance on the 7PM in Brooklyn podcast with Carmelo Anthony, Green said he took $82M to ensure the Warriors would at least have an opportunity to sign Kevin Durant the following summer. 

But a report from Yahoo back in 2015 noted the Warriors and Green breaking off contract negotiations, which doesn't exactly scream the team was ready to pay him the full $93 million. So perhaps Green is saying he took less money to look like the good guy when in fact he wasn't going to get the max deal anyway. 

Either way, here's Green's version of the story:

"When I signed my deal [in 2015], B.J. Armstrong was my agent. The conversation me and B.J. had was, 'listen, here's [the Warriors'] whole [salary] cap table. Here's what it is next year. The cap next year jumps to this. Look who's a free agent next year. KD. Here's [the amount of money] you can take, and y'all will still be able to pay [KD] max. The number was five [years] for $85 [million].'"

Green wound up signing a five-year deal for $82 million. Could he have gotten, say, $90M from Golden State as a restricted free agent? That's debatable. Would another team have forced the Warriors' hand at that number? 

For the sake of argument, let's say Green could've gotten at least a few million more than he did. Kudos to him, but let's not ignore the much more significant factor in the Warriors being in a position to sign Durant: Stephen Curry was on the all-time clearance-rack contract after his ankle concerns limited his leverage during his own negotiations prior to becoming the league's MVP. 

But yeah, it's fair to say that Green did give up millions, either of his own volition or because he wasn't in the position of power he's portraying in 2024. However it happened, KD did come to the Bay and the Warriors became arguably the greatest team ever assembled in 2016-17.