NBA Trade Grade - Chris Paul Swapped for Jordan Poole and Picks

NBA Trade Grade - Chris Paul Swapped for Jordan Poole and Picks

Mere hours before the NBA Draft, the Warriors and Wizards pulled off a shocking deal. As reported by Shams Charania of the Athletic, Washington sent Chris Paul to Golden State in exchange for Jordan Poole, a protected 2030 first-round pick and a 2027 second-rounder.

Golden State's Grade: B-

Selling point: Adding a high-IQ veteran to a team whose youth isn't developing as hoped; getting closure on the Draymond punch

It remains to be seen what Golden State will do with Draymond Green, but to me, this move makes it more likely Green re-signs. By moving Poole, you rid yourself of two types of baggage -- the chemistry baggage from the Draymond punch, and Poole's upcoming extension that likely wasn't going to return value for the Warriors. His role diminished in last year's playoffs, averaging just 21.8 minutes per game.

Inserting Paul into the rotation raises the collective IQ of the team, and his more traditional style of point guard play may actually help some of the young players on the team like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, whose integration into Golden State's movement offense has been shaky. CP3's style will also bring new wrinkles to the Warriors' scheme, likely adding more pick-and-roll actions and mid-range jumpers.

Think this deal moves the needle for Golden State? Check out our NBA Championship Odds. Golden State is 13-to-1 on DraftKings.

Concern: Losing scoring punch, unclear fit between CP3 and Steph

Poole's season was a mixed bag, but you're still losing 20.4 points per game in trading him, and he's been healthy the past two seasons. But, he was giving up plenty of points on defense as well. Paul may not score as much, and his defense isn't what it used to be, but he's creating plenty of chances for others and hardly makes mistakes on either end.

Maybe the bigger question -- besides injury/age concerns -- is how Paul fits with Steph Curry. I'm assuming he starts. The last time Curry played more than 5% of his minutes at shooting guard was during his rookie year (36%) when CJ Watson was eating innings at point. The combined passing IQ of CP3 and Draymond is exciting, though, and growing pains may ease quickly.

Washington's Grade: B+

Selling point: Trading a veteran who made no sense on the current roster for a flier on a fun, young player

Now, if I was collectively grading all of Washington's moves, I'd give them a D+. But, in a vacuum, I like this deal a lot for them. Keeping Paul would not make sense -- it's time to rebuild. Poole joins a starting five that currently also includes (presumably) Tyus Jones, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford. Why not take a flier on Poole, who projects to be the team's No. 1 option? With the Warriors' Big 3 off the court last season, Poole averaged 27.7 points and 5.4 assists per 36 minutes. It'll at least be fun.

Concern: Poole is owed roughly $130 million over the next four years; what's the plan?

One man's trash is another man's treasure, but Poole's contract is still a concern for the Wizards. The District is now committed to the guard through the 2026-27 season. The plan may be as simple as, "Screw it, let's just see what we can get out of him. We'll decide whether to keep him or flip him two years from now." And honestly, that's good enough for me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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