3 Trades for Warriors to tear it down and rebuild around Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Trade No. 2: Chris Paul to the Big Apple

Chris Paul didn't look like a natural fit for this team when the Golden State Warriors traded for him in the Jordan Poole back in June, but to his credit he has fit right in as an occasional starter and closer but otherwise merely the architect of the second unit. Paul has been out for weeks with a fractured hand, and the impact has been felt, specifically when the bench is pressed into service.

Paul is expected back in the next couple of weeks, but the Warriors aren't going anywhere this season. That doesn't mean they have to move on from Paul, but his contract works so well because it has a team option next season that allows him to operate as either expiring salary or as matching salary next summer for whatever team acquires him.

The Brooklyn Nets are a team that may be looking to make a move, but their primary means of making a big swing would be Ben Simmons, a name and contract that are toxic in most NBA circles. If the Warriors knew they were going to be patient, they could offer to take back Simmons in exchange for some future value. Here's what that could look like:

CP3, GP2 to Nets for Simmons

For the Nets, they suddenly have the flexibility to either move Paul in a trade for a star or make a run at using cap space this summer instead of in 2025. They also have no incentive to tank over the rest of this season and next, and having one of the greatest floor generals in league history who proved this season he can still operate an offense at a high level would be a boon toward winning in the short-term.

For the Warriors, this trade would truly be leaning into the idea that they can contend for a title in a year or two, flipping Chris Paul's salary for another contract rather than walking away this summer. To do so, however, they get the reward of a lucrative Phoenix 2029 first-round pick, a selection that should be extremely useful in trades this offseason. Dariq Whitehead is a rookie first-rounder who boasts a lot of upside if the Warriors' training staff can get him on the court.