Warriors trade for Chris Paul looks worse (but was still the right move)

The Warriors' trade for Chris Paul in 2023 was a must, despite the on-court results.
Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul
Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors waived Chris Paul and quickly watched him agree to a deal with the Spurs on June 30. It was not shocking. CP3 is one of the best point guards in NBA history. Teams were going to have interest, especially on the open market when they could negotiate his salary.

Watching him go to San Antonio to team up with Victor Wembanyama and Gregg Popovich was not ideal. The Spurs lacked a true point guard. The 39-year-old is past his prime but will have plenty to offer in the Alamo.

Waiving Chris Paul put a bow on the Jordan Poole trade from the 2023 offseason. Golden State hoped to trade CP3 and get something in return, but they could not find a partner. The future Hall of Famer lasted just one season in the Bay Area, and the Warriors missed the playoffs. Things do not look great, but it was still the right move.

The Chris Paul trade was the right move for the Warriors

Golden State still owes the Wizards two draft picks from the CP3 trade. That is far from ideal as Paul will likely be retired before they convey. It cost the Warriors Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and cash too. All of that was worth it for one simple reason.

The Dubs had to dump Jordan Poole’s contract. It became clear quickly that his four-year $128 million deal was a vast overpay. He is locked in through 2027 and makes an average of $32 million per season.

Things went from bad to worse for Poole in the nation’s capital. His scoring and efficiency dipped as he barely played 30 minutes per game on a rebuilding team. The Wizards are stuck with the 25-year-old’s contract, and Poole will be one of their highest-paid players until 2027.

There were massive financial implications if the Dubs kept his contract on their books. Golden State did not know about the second tax apron, but it would have only added more pressure to trade Poole. The Warriors trimmed their payroll this summer because of it. Getting rid of Poole was a must and acquiring Chris Paul was a key part of that deal.

The Golden State Warriors would have loved to see Chris Paul have a historic season in the Bay Area, but the fit was always problematic next to Stephen Curry. It forced Steve Kerr to bring CP3 primarily off the bench for the first time in his career and made his numbers dip further.

All of those were musts in dumping Jordan Poole and putting the Dubs in a better financial position moving forward. It is not what fans want to hear, but sometimes the business of basketball gets in the way.