Golden State Warriors' blockbuster trade awfully one-sided in vindication game

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards
Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

While it may have been just one outing in an 82-game season, Tuesday's game between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards offered a rather lop-sided reality of the teams' blockbuster trade from last offseason.

The Warriors' decision to move on from Jordan Poole for a 38-year-old Chris Paul was filled with controversy on Draft day in June, with the move presenting risk given the pair's respective ages and the talent the young guard had shown in recent seasons.

Tuesday's game provided a glaring vindication for the Golden State Warriors' decision to trade Jordan Poole for Chris Paul in the offseason

But Poole's risk-reward playstyle was one of the primary reasons Golden State traded their former first-round pick, instead opting for Paul's consistency and veteran leadership to steady the bench unit.

The contrast couldn't have been more startling on Tuesday as Paul and Klay Thompson led a new-look Warrior bench that outscored the Wizards 59-15 in a 123-112 victory. The 12-time All-Star had missed 21-straight games due to a fractured hand, yet fit back in seamlessly to finish with nine points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals in less than 22 minutes.

While Paul was busy winning the game for Golden State during a 25-6 run late in the third-quarter, Poole repeatedly cost his team with ill-advised shot selection and sloppy turnovers that have come to plague his game.

The 24-year-old had started the game well, coming off the bench and nailing a three over Stephen Curry almost right away. Poole also had an explosive layup at the rim shortly after as the Wizards took a two-point lead after the opening period.

Yet after another three and a pair of assists to start the second, Poole's game began to unravel from there on. He would finish with 12 points on just 5-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc.

As poor as the shooting was, Poole's biggest issue was his six turnovers that aided in Golden State winning the points-off-turnover battle. There was too much of the mindless play that had led to growing frustration among Warrior fans last season, and not enough of the mercurial shot-making that had helped the franchise to the 2022 championship.

The Warriors may not have needed any more vindication for their decision last offseason, but they certainly got it in the form of Tuesday's game. This was all from an on-court perspective too without even mentioning the respective contracts of each player, with Poole's deal having been described as "one of the worst in the league" by ESPN's Bobby Marks last week.