Ever since the Golden State Warriors’ blockbuster draft day trade that saw the departure of young guard Jordan Poole, speculation has been rife on which factors were most at play in motivating the front office to make such a move.
With the Warriors dealing Poole in a package for 12-time All-Star Chris Paul, the move was hardly an on-court positional decision like it otherwise may have been. Instead, it was clearly orchestrated for financial means, along with Poole’s relationships with those inside the franchise.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. has reiterated the Golden State Warriors were driven by business, not relationships, in their Jordan Poole-Chris Paul trade.
Speaking recently with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, Golden State General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. says the franchise’s growing financial restraints were the key reason behind moving their young guard.
"“I think the biggest thing really is just financially we’re in a position where we had to make some decisions. I think we were able to make a decision where we could free some of that while also still being highly competitive and having a chance to win a championship. It just ended up having to be a decision we had to make and so be it.”"
Dunleavy did concede that Poole’s relationship with Draymond Green was a point to consider, with growing conjecture among fans and the media that the pair remaining teammates was nearing an untenable situation.
The fact is that generally, business and relationships cannot be mutually exclusive. There was a clear business dynamic between Poole and Green dating back to training camp — both were eligible for contract extensions and at the same, the franchise favored the talented youngster over the franchise legend.
How much that played into the pair’s declining relationship may only be known in the fullness of time, but it’s no coincidence that when the franchise prioritized Green and his free agency this offseason, Poole was the one that paid the price.
The reality is that the Warriors rid themselves of a backup point-guard in the infancy of a four-year, $128 million contract, opening up future flexibility by bringing in Paul and his one-year guaranteed deal.