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How an NBA All-Star learned to be smart about money

Draymond Green has a big financial goal: to become a billionaire.

The NBA All-Star, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, made $850,000 as a 22-year-old in his debut year in the league. He later signed a five-year deal for $85 million, according to published reports.

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors.
Getty Images
Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors.

For Green, like many other professional athletes, coming into that kind of money at such an early age had its challenges.

"I liken it to hitting the lottery," said Marc Minker, who has worked with professional athletes and is the lead managing director at CBIZ MHM, a New York-based national accounting and professional services firm.

"Even if it's league minimum, it's still a lot of money really quickly compared to the normal. Very often, you have an ability to walk before you run; that doesn't work in this context."

The first challenge was finding a financial advisor Green could trust.

"The most important decision I made is surrounding myself with the team that I have," Green said. In order to do that, he heeded one piece of advice from his father, he said: "ask questions."

Ben Clammer, an executive director at JPMorgan Private Bank, also advises young athletes to meet with several advisors from different firms.

"Focus on advisors that talk more about strategy and advice rather than products and solutions," he said.

"I'd also recommend finding an advisor that doesn't just work with athletes but rather a diverse set of wealthy individuals from many disciplines. They will have a unique perspective that you will benefit from."

"The one thing I would share with younger athletes is to always be curious and always continue learning," Green wrote in an email to CNBC. "All young athletes should take the time to educate themselves and find the right mentors." -Draymond Green

But that doesn't mean that Green didn't have any missteps along the way. The worst one? "A $21,000 night in the club," he said. "I had a blast for sure, I could have had a blast for $4,000 though."

Now Green said, when it comes to spending money, he keeps his goal in mind. "Every decision I make is 'how is this helping me become a billionaire?'"

Green shared the lessons he learned his first year in the league, how he selects his investments and his financial goals in the debut episode of "Kneading Dough," a new series by digital media company Uninterrupted and JPMorgan Chase.

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