When the Golden State Warriors chose to trade Jordan Poole in a package for Chris Paul on draft day in June, they did so in the hopes that the 38-year-old would be a short-term upgrade for their championship aspirations.
Sure, part of the move surrounded the increased financial flexibility beyond this season, but there’s little doubt the franchise would argue that Paul gives them a better and more impactful third-guard next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
After the Golden State Warriors highly-publicized trade involving the pair this offseason, ESPN has ranked Jordan Poole above Chris Paul in their top 100 player rankings.
The value of the trade has been highly debated since it took place, with a genuine argument on who exactly is the better NBA player at this point. While the Warriors would argue for their newly-acquired veteran, that perspective hasn’t been endorsed by ESPN.
In their recent top 100 player rankings, Poole sits just above Paul after a season in which both player’s reputation took a little bit of a hit. The 24-year-old is the league’s 72nd best player according to ESPN, while Paul ranks four spots behind at 76.
Both players saw a significant drop from their rank 12 months prior, particularly Paul who dropped 55 places after being 21st entering the 2022-23 season. The 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists with the Phoenix Suns last season.
After playing a major role in Golden State’s run to the 2022 NBA championship, Poole was ranked 55th before last season. While the new Wizard averaged a career-high in points, his inefficiency and turnover issues with the Warriors undoubtedly played a role in the ranking decline.
While Poole may be regarded as the better player according to ESPN, Golden State would assert they’ll be more effective with Paul running the second-unit, not to mention his closer alignment to the franchise’s veteran core.
The Warriors had six players in ESPN’s top 100, starting with Stephen Curry at number five. Klay Thompson (41), Andrew Wiggins (54), Draymond Green (55), Paul (76) and Kevon Looney (88) also made the list.