Chris Paul Trade

Stephen A believes CP3 trade doesn't make Warriors better

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The Warriors stunned the NBA world Thursday with a blockbuster move that reportedly will send Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards for veteran point guard Chris Paul.

It didn't take long for fans and the media to react to the news, and even Paul himself said that he was "excited" to join forces with Steph Curry in the Bay. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, however, isn't a fan of the move.

"I did not like it one bit. And I love me some CP3," Smith said Friday morning on "First Take." "I think he's one of the greatest point guards to ever have played this game. Future Hall of Famer. I don't like this from a basketball standpoint.

" ... Obviously, this is a business move. It wasn't just a business move, but when you think about the numbers that they've got to deal with and the fact that next year they'll be in a position to get as much as $25 million under the tax, you're looking at it from a business perspective and understanding this was primarily a business move."

Smith added that on top of how the move impacts the Warriors' financial outlook, he can see how Paul would help stabilize Golden State's second unit with some of the young players, and cut down on turnovers.

Still, he doesn't think the move necessarily made the Warriors any better as they push to get back into championship contention next season.

"I just don't see how this makes it better. And I don't see how it's an ideal fit," Smith continued. "If I remember correctly, I think the Warriors were No. 1 at pace of play, the Phoenix Suns were like at 22 if I remember correctly, bottom third. So I'm sitting there looking at them like, 'Really? That's what you're doing?' This doesn't seem to make much sense. We know that Chris Paul has been perpetually injured, he's missed about 12 postseason games, and in five playoff series that he's got injured, it's impacted his team because they've lost four of five of the playoff series that he's got injured in.

"And now you're talking about transferring from a team from a style of play where it's the bottom third to going up to a team No. 1 in pace of play, we know primarily most of those injuries were hamstring injuries, I don't even know if he'll last."

Even though Thursday's move caught the entire sports world off guard, it was no secret that the tensions between Poole and Draymond Green never truly died down after Green punched the 24-year-old guard back in October.

So while fans speculated that the Warriors potentially could part ways with the young guard, many didn't expect Paul would be the player they received in return.

And Smith is on that same wave.

"I'm not going to get into the Jordan Poole things too much. I know that Chris Paul is 14 years older than Jordan Poole. I know that Jordan Poole definitely wanted to shine and in Washington, he's definitely going to get that because he'll be the primary offensive option, one would argue," Smith continued. "But I just look at the Warriors and I say, 'Really? That's the move that you make?' I thought that they needed some more size, I didn't think this is what they needed, I don't think it's an ideal fit.

"I don't think that it's going to make them better or more of a championship contender. Certainly, it's not going to make them worse because Chris Paul doesn't make teams worse, anywhere he goes, the team's always better. We know that. I just don't see that happening in this particular situation. Not because I don't believe in his talent, it's just that in this situation, I don't think it's a good one … I just don't like it from a basketball standpoint, I truly don't."

There was one move the Warriors made Thursday that Smith did like, though.

Golden State selected shooting guard Brandin Podziemski out of Santa Clara University with the No. 19 pick in Thursday's draft.

"Listen, look at him, look at these moves, look at his ability to score. Obviously not scared to shoot, 44 percent from 3-point range. A lefty. I love what I'm seeing right there," Smith said of Podziemski on Thursday. "You need a shooter, you've got some decisions to make, Poole is gone, you don't know what's going to happen with [Donte] DiVincenzo and all the others. when you put him out on the floor playing for Steve Kerr, you need to be able to shoot the basketball."

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