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Draymond Green has 'significant interest' in playing for hometown Pistons

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Saginaw native and MSU alum would fortify Pistons' weakest position.

Derick E Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green, who is expected to be one of the most highly coveted free agents this summer, has "significant interest" in signing with the Detroit Pistonsaccording to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Pistons are expected to be quiet up to this year's NBA trade deadline, but all signs point to them being extremely active on the free agency and trade fronts.

Green is a restricted free agent and would command a post-rookie max or close to it. That would put his deal in the $14 million per-year range, and even then the Golden State Warriors would likely attempt to find a way to keep their all-purpose forward.

In a looming restricted free agency this summer, Golden State's Draymond Green has a significant interest with pursuing an offer sheet with his hometown Detroit Pistons, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Green has loved playing with the Warriors and winning, and naturally Golden State is determined to find a way to retain him. Still, the Warriors' salary structure almost dictates that Green has to go onto the market and get an offer sheet for them to match in July.

If the offer is too rich to match, the chance for Green to return to his beloved home state - where he grew up in Saginaw and played at Michigan State in East Lansing - has long intrigued him, sources said. Green still spends most of his time away from the NBA in Michigan.

Green has been an ultimate glue guy in Golden State, but that underplays his value as a multi-positional defensive stopper and big man with range out to the 3-point line. The Warriors would likely have to find a way to unload the $15 million contract of David Lee as the team is already staring at a salary commitment of $81 million next year before factoring in Green's expected new deal.

Green averages 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks for the Warriors. He also plays roughly half his time at power forward and half of his time at small forward.

Detroit's biggest holes? Positionally, small forward, and fundamentally, a lack of defense. Green is an elite defender at the greatest position of need.

Green also loves his native state, reportedly spending most of his time during the offseason away from sunny California and back in Michigan. Most recently, the MSU alum was spotted in East Lansing taking in the big Spartans-Buckeyes basketball game with former teammates Gary Harris and Adreian Payne.

The Pistons are expected to have around $24 million to $28 million in cap space after stretching Josh Smith, and anticipating they will not pick up the option on Caron Butler and will let Jonas Jerebko go in free agency. That doesn't factor in Greg Monroe, who Stan Van Gundy says he wants to bring back into the fold. The Pistons have a $10 million cap hold on Greg Monroe until he signs a new deal, either in Detroit or elsewhere.

Wojnarowski repeats the conventional wisdom that Monroe is likely to leave Detroit this summer for a big deal elsewhere. He could very well be correct and if that is the case signing Green to an offer sheet and forcing Golden State to match is an easy play for the Pistons.

However, if Detroit was interested in retaining Monroe, signing Green as well becomes much more difficult. Accounting for minimum salary slots and draft pick salaries, Detroit likely would be just at the edge of being able to make a max-type offer to Green.

Still, if the Pistons are bound to lose Monroe in free agency this summer, Green isn't just a consolation prize but a better overall player and a guy who certainly checks all the boxes in what Detroit will be looking for.