Draymond Green took a discount on his contract in restricted free agency in 2015 to give the Golden State Warriors flexibility for the 2016 offseason. Green signed a five-year, $82 million contract as a restricted free agent. Green's maximum was approximately $12 million more.
The Warriors used that cap space to sign Kevin Durant.
"I took less so we could go after KD," Green told ESPN during the Finals. "I am a student of this game, and I studied the business side of it and the numbers, where some people don't. They leave it up to their agent to do it."
"Draymond is a catalyst and the anchor for their defense," LeBron James said. "Very, very smart defensively. He knows pretty much every set. He kind of flies around and dictates their defense, either on the perimeter or protecting the rim as well."
Green spoke of his desire to win.
"I want to win," Green said. "I want to win at all costs."
Ultimately, the difference in salary wasn't as meaningful as competing for titles.
"I think my max was $96 million," Green said. "That money is not changing my neighborhood. It's probably $6 million after taxes and fees. It's not changing my neighborhood, but championships can. Championships can change my life.
"So it's about what's important to you. And I knew how important it was to me and the opportunity we could have if I did what I did. And I didn't need [Warriors general manager] Bob [Myers] to explain that to me. Bob never once explained that to me. I knew it going in. So that's where I based my negotiations at. The number I asked for, I got."
Green said he kept his plan to pursue Durant to himself when he finalized his deal in 2015. Green and Durant maintain that there was no courting until after the 15-16 season.
A text to Durant after the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Finals stating, "We need you."