Grade the Trade: Golden State Warriors send Chris Paul back to LA in latest blockbuster idea

Chris Paul, LA Clippers. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Chris Paul, LA Clippers. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /
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All was quiet on the Western front on the day of the 2023 NBA Draft. Quiet, that is, until out of nowhere, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer sent a Tweet that the Golden State Warriors were discussing a trade surrounding Jordan Poole. Just minutes later, Poole was heading to the Washington Wizards and Chris Paul was going to be joining Stephen Curry and company in an agreed-upon deal.

It was an unexpected move but certainly an explainable one, with the Warriors getting off from Poole’s big contract extension before his standing in the league could get worse. From the Warriors’ side, they were betting on an all-timer being able to fit into their system to help them win a title.

There were immediate questions about whether deliberate, pick-and-roll Chris Paul could fit into the Warriors’ chaotic read-and-react system. But what if the plan was never for Paul to need to fit into the system? What if the Warriors moved Poole for Paul, only to turn around and look to send Paul on to another team?

The Warriors may not be done

Chris Paul’s $30.8 million salary allows them to match the salary of another player, and they have two firsts, multiple swaps and a few young players remaining to make a run at a star. If the team in question also values Paul more than simply matching salary, that’s all the better.

Let’s look at one trade proposal that would see Chris Paul return to Los Angeles.