Grade the Trade: Golden State Warriors send Chris Paul home in cost-saving proposal

Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Would the Warriors make this trade?

There is a lot to unpack in evaluating this trade. On the surface, moving a backup point guard and a first-round pick for a 20-point per game scorer is a reasonable proposition, but there is a whole lot more at play here. Chris Paul has played a key role on the Warriors, agreeing to come off the bench but playing big minutes and leading the team in assists.

Trading him for Terry Rozier does bring some scoring punch at the expense of passing and ball control. Rozier is also nine years younger than Paul and makes eight million dollars less. All of those factors matter here; there are better guards to target if the goal is simply to get better, but the Warriors in this scenario are ultimately trying to save money while not completely tanking.

Would they ever get to that point? It's a fairy tale that the Warriors haven't made cost-saving moves in the past, including with the Jordan Poole - Chris Paul trade itself. With that being said, they also have worked hard to maintain a top-flight team around Stephen Curry. Taking a reliable veteran like Paul and dumping him to save $50 million feels like less than maximizing the roster around their star.

This trade attempts to thread the needle, and it doesn't utterly fail in doing so. Rozier is a great scoring guard and isn't a complete negative on defense; he doesn't help their size problem but he can step up as this team's secondary scorer. The Warriors can save their money and add a player who helps.

In the end, however, Rozier likely doesn't help enough, especially given his checkered injury history. Moving one small injury-prone guard for another doesn't necessarily boost the Warriors in a major way. If the Warriors do want to save money, this isn't a bad option, but if they're committed to winning they can do better with Paul's expiring salary. This deal is fine, but there would likely be a better one out there.

Grade: B