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Warriors’ Draymond Green addresses Jordan Poole trade, adding Chris Paul and aiming for six titles: report

Warriors’ Draymond Green addresses Jordan Poole trade, adding Chris Paul and aiming for six titles: report

Draymond Green isn’t just setting his sights on a fifth NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors.

He’s thinking bigger for himself, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

“I don’t like to necessarily put a number on things,” Green told ESPN in a recent profile. “But I don’t see why we can’t get two more championships. Why not?”

Green touched on several topics while back at Michigan State, where he starred for legendary coach Tom Izzo for four years.

Golden State’s busy offseason had two major moves: bringing Green back on a four-year, $100 million deal; and trading Jordan Poole for longtime Warriors foe Chris Paul.

Green admitted that, on a scale of 1-10, his hatred of Paul was an 11, which Green views as a sign of respect, and he needed time to warm up to the deal. But now?

“I look at this as one of the most important years of my career,” Green said. “… It’s not to redeem anything about Draymond. My goal is that we can help Chris Paul get his first championship.”

Green said he has had conversations with Paul and was highly complimentary of his play.

“A guy that’s at the center of everything,” Green said of Paul. “At the center of every play, what the other team is running at the center of their defense, talking on both ends of the floor, working the referees, working our coach, working players in the middle of every tussle. Battling. Elbowing. Nasty.

“… Of course you’re going to hate him [as an opponent]. And if you don’t, guess what? You’ll lose to him. We’ve seen a bunch of guys lose to him as well.”

There are still many logistical questions to work out, including who will be in the starting lineup, how rotations work and who will be the primary ballhandler and distributor.

But as rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis recently told this news organization, the Warriors players have already begun that process in-person.

“We’ve kind of gotten over that hump now, but then there’ll be another hump of actually playing together that’ll take some getting used to,” Green said. “But I’m excited about it. We’ve gotten together as a team, we’ve kicked it together and the vibe feels great. And I’m a student of the game of basketball and Chris Paul is a master, and I’m looking forward to learning from him.”

Green also touched on his most controversial moment of last season (and arguably his Warriors career), when he punched Poole in the face during training camp. Green admitted he doubted if he would return to the Warriors and wasn’t sure if he would “have the opportunity to redeem myself” with his team.

“It doesn’t change what happened. It doesn’t change that I was at fault. But I’m a human being, and human beings do wrong,” Green said. “But how do you stand when it goes wrong, when things ain’t on your side. When everybody’s against you, when the world is saying, ‘Oh man, now all of a sudden you’re not worth the money you make.’ Or, ‘You’re the cancer and you’re the problem’ four championships later.”

Green credited Izzo for helping him through the month of October, saying his old coach kept a “constant dialogue” with his former star.

By the offseason, it became clear that Green was still considered a foundational piece of this Warriors core alongside Curry and Thompson. And now, back with a stronger veteran presence and fewer young players than in the past several seasons, Green believes team chemistry will be paramount for the team.

“We have to bring this group back together as one,” Green said. “… You couldn’t break our team. You may break one guy, you may break two, but you can’t break this team. And that’s what made us unbeatable.”

The Warriors were unbeatable, especially in the Western Conference, until this past playoff run. But Green clearly views losing to the Lakers in the West semifinals as a one-off that won’t be repeated.

“[The Lakers have] done it once, and that’s great,” Green said. “Now someone has to do it again and again. And I don’t foresee that happening.”