Draymond Green declines player option, to become free agent

Perk: Warriors had better re-sign Draymond or their dynasty is over (0:52)

Kendrick Perkins says Draymond Green is "the heart and soul of the Warriors" and explains why Golden State has to re-sign him (0:52)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is declining his $27.6 million player option and will enter unrestricted free agency, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.

"We will continue to talk to Golden State and explore all options," Paul told ESPN.

It was expected Green would opt out; now he can talk with the Warriors as well as explore sign-and-trades and free agency.

In his introductory news conference as the Warriors new general manager, Mike Dunleavy Jr. said brining Green back was a top priority.

"We really want Draymond back," Dunleavy said. "What he means in terms of this organization and this team, winning at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him.

A four-time All-Star, Green has been a pillar of the Warriors' dynasty over the past decade after being drafted with the 35th overall pick in 2012. He has often been referred to as the team's heart and soul, while also anchoring the defense.

This past season, though, called some of Green's leadership into question. After Green punched Jordan Poole at training camp -- an incident Warriors coach Steve Kerr called at the time the franchise's biggest crisis during his tenure, later saying it had left a cloud over the season -- Green struggled to fully regain the trust of his teammates.

Green admitted that the altercation impacted his ability to be the vocal, and sometimes abrasive, leader who has energized Golden State in the past. He said he felt this prevented the team from being able to perform at its full capabilities. But there is a strong belief that all parties would be able to move forward and have both Green and Poole on the team next season.

Green averaged 8.5 points on 52.7% shooting, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game this season.