Grade the Trade: Warriors send CP3 home to land All-Star wing in blockbuster proposal

Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors
Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Laying out the blockbuster trade

Teams that are open to trading All-Star players usually fall into one of two main buckets. The first is teams looking to rebuild or at least retool; think of the Toronto Raptors moving on from OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam this year. The other bucket is made up of teams who have multiple stars and don't think those stars can be maximized together.

That second bucket is the one the Warriors are targeting here. The New Orleans Pelicans are having their best season since trading Anthony Davis, but their best moments often come when their two young stars are split up. Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are both most comfortable on-ball and are not elite defenders; ideally you would play them both at power forward.

If things end poorly for the Pelicans in the playoffs this season, they could be open to moving on from one of those stars to retool around the other. They could move such a player directly for another star, but those types of "challenge trades" are difficult to execute. More likely, they would move one for picks and prospects, then pivot and use that as part of a package with another team for that second star.

If the Warriors can be the ones to step to the front of the line and trade for a Pelicans star, here is what such a deal could look like:

CP3 Moody Ingram trade

The Pelicans would get back a two-way wing in Moses Moody, adding to their deep collection of basketball's most important commodity. Chris Paul would return to the city he was drafted into and provide a veteran presence setting up the offense, and he would be an obvious choice to then be flipped to another team as matching salary.

The two first-round picks would bear a fair amount of upside as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green enter their twilight years; they are likely to give up a fringe lottery pick this season and could easily be sending back Top-10 picks in 2026 and 2028 if this trade doesn't work out. Those would be lucrative assets for the Pelicans to add to their war chest.

The Pelicans would need to have some sense of their next move after making this trade, but it's reasonable for them to consider. What about Golden State; should Mike Dunleavy Jr. consider this trade?