Washington Wizards Trade Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors for Jordan Poole

Posted on: June 23, 2023, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: June 23, 2023, 12:09h.

The Washington Wizards continue to revamp their team. They sent point guard Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Jordan Poole and multiple first-round draft picks.

Jordan Poole Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul (right) defends Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (left) during a regular-season game at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Image: Getty)

The Warriors will send the Wizards a protected first-round pick in the 2030 NBA Draft, along with a second-round pick in the 2027 NBA Draft.

The Warriors have a small window in which to win another championship, with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson not getting any younger. All signs suggest the Warriors will run it back at least one more season with power forward and hardwood enforcer Draymond Green, so their core three remain intact, with Paul joining their supergroup for one more shot at championship glory. The Curry, Thompson, and Green trinity won four titles together, including three in four seasons between 2015 and 2018, and an unexpected championship in 2022.

Paul was only a member of the Wizards for a few days before they shipped him back out West. The Wizards initially acquired Paul on Sunday from the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade for All-Star guard Bradley Beal.

Both trades were unexpected and surprised many NBA insiders. The Heat were the favorites to land Beal in a trade and not the Wizards. A Paul trade to the Warriors came out of nowhere, especially a few hours before the 2023 NBA Draft in Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Warriors Fail to Defend 2022 Title

After a lackluster regular season with a 44-38 record, which saw Steph Curry miss 26 games from injuries, bettors and fans expected the Warriors would flip a switch and steamroll everyone in the playoffs.

The Warriors narrowly missed having to appear in the play-in tournament when they secured the #6 seed by one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Warriors needed seven games to knock out the #3 Sacramento Kings in the first round. The young Kings showed flashes of brilliance. But their inexperience got the best of them, and they squandered a 2-0 series lead and a chance to win Game 7 on their home court. The battle-hardened Warriors prevailed, but they caught a glimpse of a future in which the rising Kings would cause them problems in subsequent postseasons.

The #7 Lakers picked off the Warriors in the conference semifinals. The Warriors looked old and slow in the second round, and they fell behind 3-1 in the series and couldn’t recover. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers’ role players like Austin Reaves were too much to handle.

Several of the Warriors went ice cold against the Lakers, particularly Poole, who expected Curry to provide all the heroics by himself. The Warriors saw their title defense fall flat when they were knocked out in six games, which included an embarrassing 21-point loss in their ultimate elimination game.

Bay Area Shuffle: Paul In, Poole Out

New general manager Mike Dunleavy, Jr. made a bold move by acquiring a 38-year-old veteran with a well-documented injury history in exchange for a healthy 24-year-old upstart. Team owner Joe Lacob signed off on Dunleavy’s risky trade because of a “win now” mentality.

Paul averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game last season with the Suns. He suffered a groin injury in the second round of the playoffs, and the #3 Suns were unable to hold off the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals.

Despite the injuries, Paul believes he has plenty of gas left in the tank, and wants to play for several more seasons and well into his 40s.

Although Paul and Curry were long-time adversaries, the two veterans will put aside their previous drama to pursue a championship.

I’m excited,” Paul told a reporter from The Charlotte Observer. “I’m really excited.”

By trading Poole, the Warriors might have leveraged their post-dynasty future and gambled on an injury magnet like Paul. From a financial standpoint, the Warriors were able to trim $100 million in future salary constrictions by dealing Poole to the Wizards.

Poole will take over as the primary scorer and shooting guard in Washington after the Wizards traded Beal to the Suns. Poole will join new backcourt-mate Tyus Jones, who was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Wizards on Wednesday night. Jones was part of a three-team trade that sent point guard Marcus Smart to the Grizzlies and center Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics.

Poor Postseason Plagued Poole

Poole and Green were involved in a fight during the preseason. A leaked video from a Warriors’ practice showed Green decking Poole after an irritated Poole foolishly lunged at the bruiser. Poole was negotiating a raise at the time and secured a contract extension despite the dustup. It seemed like the Warriors were banking on a future with Poole, and that Green’s days were numbered.

Green declined a player option and is currently a free agent. Reports out of San Francisco suggest Green will return to the Warriors with a new contract. Nine months after the fight, Poole departed in a trade, and Green is expected to remain with the Warriors.

Curry was sidelined with injuries this season, and Poole started 43 games. Poole spent half of the 2022-23 season as the sixth man, but still finished the regular season as the Warriors’ third-best scorer. He averaged a career-high 20.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game in the regular season while shooting 33.6% from 3-point range.

Poole had a subpar postseason and struggled on both ends of the court by averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. He connected on only 25.4% of his 3-point attempts. He looked so lost at times that head coach Steve Kerr benched Poole during the fourth quarter in crunch time, and he wasn’t on the court to close out games.

As much as Poole wanted to become the third member of the Splash Brothers with Curry and Thompson, he was never embraced as an equal, especially after he faltered in the postseason. The Splash Brothers are an unbreakable dynamic duo — like Batman and Robin or Hall & Oates — and they were never going to become a power trio with Poole, despite all the media hype.

Betting the Warriors with CP3

Paul has never won an NBA championship, so he was expected to go hunting for a title in the off-season via free agency. The Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers were both favorites to pursue Paul in free agency. The Dallas Mavericks were also interested in Paul’s veteran point guard skills. The Warriors didn’t allow Paul to hit the free agency waters and prevented him from joining one of their division foes or conference rivals.

Oddsmakers at DraftKings released a fresh batch of NBA futures after the Denver Nuggets won the championship. The Warriors were fifth overall on the futures board at +1200 odds, and the third-highest team from the West behind the defending champion Nuggets (+450) and Suns (+850).

There’s been a shakeup in NBA futures this week after the Suns added Beal in a trade, and the Celtics traded away their starting point guard. The Celtics acquired Porzingis from the Wizards, but sent Smart to the Grizzlies in a three-team deal which improved their title odds.

The Nuggets and Celtics are now cofavorites to win the 2024 championship at +475 odds, according to DraftKings. Those two teams are ahead of the Suns (+700), Milwaukee Bucks (+750), Lakers (+1200), and Warriors (+1300). The Warriors are now sixth on the futures board and tied with the Philadelphia 76ers (+1300), but just ahead of the Miami Heat (+1400).

The Warriors have better Western Conference title odds compared to the Lakers, even though the Lakers are slightly ahead of them in overall championship odds. The Nuggets are favorites to win the Western Conference again next season at +250 odds, and they’re ahead of the Suns (+350), Warriors (+650), and Lakers (+750).