Chris Paul Trade

How NBA experts graded Warriors' Poole-for-CP3 blockbuster

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Thursday's shocking blockbuster trade between the Warriors and Washington Wizards took the NBA world by storm, as noted Golden State villain Chris Paul came to the Bay in exchange for 24-year-old guard Jordan Poole.

As part of the deal, the Warriors also reportedly sent youngsters Ryan Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr, along with future draft picks, to the Wizards.

While fans expressed both excitement and outrage online, it didn't take long for the experts to weigh in, too. Here's a roundup of how they believe Golden State fared in the Poole-for-Paul swap:


Warriors grade: B-plus

"It would be nice to have truth serum to ask new Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the rest of the team's front office two questions:

  • How much is this trade about shedding Poole's long-term contract?
  • To what degree is Golden State hoping to improve its 2024 title chances?

On the court, Paul addresses the Warriors' biggest weakness: their tendency to crater offensively any time two-time MVP Stephen Curry is on the bench. ...

At some point, the Warriors were probably going to be forced to choose between keeping Poole and retaining core starters Draymond Green (an unrestricted free agent this summer after declining a $27.6 million player option for 2023-24) and Klay Thompson (entering the final season of his contract).

Golden State has always been reluctant to part with first-round picks. The Warriors had dealt only one since winning their first title in 2015. Their willingness to break with tradition, albeit with significant protections -- ESPN's Zach Lowe reported the pick is top-20 protected, and by definition it cannot roll over to the following draft -- suggests both an urgency to maximize the remainder of Curry's prime and an awareness of coming financial restraints."

Warriors grade: B

"There's a reasonable argument to be made that Golden State knocked this deal out of the park. Financially, they basically replaced Poole's $28 million salary with Paul's $30.8M for next season, but while Poole was set to cost the Warriors a fortune -- in this incoming period of even harsher tax penalties no less -- through 2027, Paul's money comes off the books next summer. 

Add to that the fact that Paul might actually still be a better player than Poole, or at least a less harmful one in the playoffs, and Golden State also, it could be argued, did well from a basketball standpoint. But I'm not ready to go quite that far. ...

Truth is, Paul's greatest value to the Warriors could be as part of another trade down the road, perhaps at the February deadline. If I'm the Warriors, I'm already on the phone trying to package Paul, who is a more attractive trade chip than Poole being that he's on an expiring contract at a time when the whole league is trying to cut salary, and Jonathan Kuminga for a real upgrade."

The Athletic

Warriors grade: B

"One of [the Warriors'] biggest issues last season was the regression of Poole (we’ll get into that in a second). The Warriors didn’t consistently have an offensive force running things when Curry was on the sidelines. It’s always an adventure for the Warriors when Curry leaves a game, but the offensive production fell by 7.7 points per 100 possessions last season whenever Curry was on the bench. ...

CP3’s ability to run an offense should fix that, except the style of Paul and the style of the Warriors clashes quite a bit. Paul loves a slow-paced, methodical dissection on offense that leads to a lot of pick-and-roll (sometimes good) and isolation mismatches against switches. The Warriors play with flow and pace and ball movement when things are running smoothly. ...

From the Poole standpoint, we’ll now find out if the reasons for last season’s inconsistency and poor play with him on the floor had to do with a regression in his game or maybe it had everything to do with Green punching Poole in a practice and the video leaking to the public. The culture of the Warriors seemed shaken last season after the incident. And maybe a regression was always going to happen. Maybe the Warriors had a fluke title run the previous season or it was just natural to see things regress to the mean. ...

It’s a necessary move, but we don’t know if the styles will acclimate to each other. At least they’re off the hook for the money to Poole and CP3 can be a steadier hand off the bench, as long as his 38-year-old body holds up. Now we see if this is essentially culture addition by subtraction."

Warriors grade: B-plus

"Newly minted GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. wasted no time in taking his first big swing, and it could prove to be a worthy one. Poole is talented as a scorer, but his playing time was inconsistent in the postseason due to his defensive struggles and inconsistent offense. Paul is almost the diametric opposite. While not a volume scorer, CP3 can take care of the ball and help set up others offensively.

Playing with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson should help extend Paul’s shelf life. He’s struggled staying at peak form deep into the playoffs the last three years, in large part because of the offensive burden he carries. ... How CP fits in with the Dubs’ fast-paced, chaos-oriented style of basketball will be interesting to watch develop, but there are far worse players to try to integrate next to a championship core. At the very least, he immediately turns into the best backup point guard in the league—which is not insignificant considering how quickly Golden State tends to fall apart when Curry sits.

Contractually, the Warriors are saving money in the long term, which is important for a team threatening to zoom past the second tax apron. Golden State can cut bait with Paul next summer if the fit isn’t right, or even use his deal in another trade by the deadline if necessary (thanks to his practically expiring status).

Finally, any concerns of Golden State playing on two timelines seem to be put to rest. You could not get further away from a youth movement by trading Poole for Paul.

P.S. I am curious about whether this trade will have ramifications for Draymond Green, who is entering free agency. Green has played pseudo-point guard for the Dubs over the years. The offensive fit among him, Paul and Curry isn’t the cleanest. Hmmmmm."

Sporting News

Warriors grade: C-plus

"Man, the Warriors really wanted to get rid of Poole.

Only a few months removed from giving him a massive four-year contract, Golden State decided that it would be better off attaching future assets to Poole rather than keeping him for another season.

(Remember that two-timeline strategy? Well, that has been throw out of the window.)

As Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes noted, the Warriors will not waive Paul. They view him as a key part of a group that will look to make another championship run, and they clearly want to maximize Stephen Curry's remaining prime years. Paul understands that he only has so many swings at a title left, so he will be hungry to compete with this group.

Paul is a much more steady presence with the ball in his hands than Poole. He should be able to use his "Point God" magic in the pick-and-roll. Imagine Draymond Green setting the screen and shooters spacing the floor — that's tough to defend. He can also calm everyone down when the Warriors are getting too loose with the ball.

However, relying on Paul, who turned 38 in May, for an entire season is extremely risky at this stage of his career. He averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists for the Suns last season, but he only played in 59 regular season games and missed the last four games of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Nuggets.

Golden State is putting its trust in the training staff to keep Paul healthy and avoid yet another injury at the worst possible time. That gamble may not pay off."

Warriors grade: B

"I have to admit, I'm surprised. But this kind of makes sense.

On the Warriors' end, while spending time around them during their second round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, it became crystal clear that they needed to deal Jordan Poole. He was underperforming. The tension was palpable. Not to mention, of course, a cloud was hanging over the team all season after the incident between Poole and Draymond Green last October. Poole needed to go, especially if Green (who opted out of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent) were to return, which he says is his goal.

Paul gives the Warriors a Hall of Fame point guard, who, at age 38, is a savvy veteran who will be able to set up Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. By doing this deal, the Warriors cut costs, considering Paul is on his penultimate year of a contract that is non-guaranteed for next season. And they made a strong statement: They're concerned about the now, not the long term. What I'm most interested in tracking here is if Green returns, how will Paul's and Green's demonstrative leadership styles mesh?"


Warriors grade: D-plus

"... Could the Warriors have done better than Paul in exchange for Poole, Rollins and modest draft compensation? The potential framework of such a deal was never obvious, but giving up on a 24-year-old playmaker who shot 62.7% on twos during Golden State's title run just last June for future cap relief provided by a small, injury-plagued guard nearing 40 is a tough pill to swallow.

The opportunity cost here isn't sky-high whether Poole was traded or not, and maybe the Warriors' hopes of winning a fifth championship in 10 years are slightly brighter with Paul in the fold. But the prioritization of long-term financial factors and immediate risks presented by Paul's age, health and poor fit next to Curry are all it takes for the Dubs to earn less than a passing grade on their first major transaction since Bob Myers' exit."

USA Today

Warriors grade: B-plus

"If he can stay healthy in the postseason — a big IF — Chris Paul is exactly what the Warriors need on offense. With Steph Curry at the helm, Golden State can already outshoot almost anyone out of a gym. What they needed was a calming presence who can facilitate their offense and find a great shot in the crunch.

They weren’t getting that with Poole’s very mercurial play and shot selection. They will get it with Paul — perhaps the greatest pure floor general in NBA history. And for the living legend/future Hall of Famer, he gets to continue pursuing his first-ever NBA title.

A win for everyone involved in the Bay Area."

DraftKings Nation

Warriors grade: A-minus

"Golden State adds another veteran piece to its lineup and with Draymond Green most likely returning to the organization on a new deal, it appears that the Warriors have abandoned its short-lived experiment of trying to compete for titles while planning for the future. It has been stated publicly that the preseason fight between Green and Poole last year soured the team’s chemistry this past season and it was clear that one of them had to go. That turned out to be Poole, who failed to provide a spark for the team during the playoffs.

As for CP3, this will presumably be his final shot at securing a ring and it’s an ideal situation. Given his age and injury problems over the past few years, the Warriors could preserve him by bringing him off the bench as a Sixth Man and use him in spots to alleviate the pressure off Steph Curry."

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