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Respectfully disagree on the Warriors, as, surprisingly, I think Draymond has become the alpha. In terms of leverage, Klay, KD, and Steph have all seen theirs decline due to the scoring prowess of the other two. Draymond, on the other hand, offers contributions that Golden State simply can’t replace internally.

Standing, however, is clearly where Draymond is most vulnerable. While his teammates may like and respect him, we’ve heard enough about his locker room meltdowns and witnessed enough of his on-court transgressions to say with confidence that the Warriors would face less fan backlash in sending Draymond packing than they would with the other stars. The players might be sad to see him go, but I also have a hard time believing there wouldn’t be some palpable relief at the prospect of escaping the crushing pressure of Draymond’s lofty expectations and stinging critiques.

Regardless of how it shapes his public perception, though, Draymond has never been shy about wielding what power he has. As we’re finding out, that power is more potent than we may have initially expected. For all of his emotional volatility, Green’s full-tilt, maximum effort style has entitled him to address the Warriors’ shortcomings when he feels something’s amiss. His willingness to publicly and maniacally berate Kevin Durant with no fear of repercussion tells us that he believes he’s the Warriors alpha. The fact that there was no repercussion (he was instead met with a high five from Durant) tells us that he actually is. That Green makes these statements with seemingly no aims of personal gain (let’s be honest — he’s not taking last shots) only lends his words and actions more credibility. Power only matters if wielded — Draymond apparently has a lot of it and has never hesitated to make it known.

While the Warriors certainly aren’t inclined to move on from any one member of their core four, Draymond Green is surprisingly the most entrenched. He’s the organization’s undisputed culture carrier, because let’s be honest, the Warriors without Draymond would be without bark, without bite, and without inappropriate Snapchat use. If you ask me, you can’t win a championship without at least two of the three.

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