“I always say for me the decision to (trade for) Chris was easy,” Dunleavy Jr. told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “I hated having to give up Jordan, who has been such a big part of what we’ve done the last few years. I was here when we drafted him. But in terms of basketball and moving forward, financial flexibility, all that stuff you factor in, it was a relatively easy decision for us.”
Swapping Poole’s remaining $128 million over the next four for Paul’s expiring salary helps the Warriors avoid more expensive tax penalties in the future. It also gives them a pathway to create $20-$30 million in cap space next offseason by offloading a combination of some of their young and role players.
While pulling the trigger on the trade was an easy decision, the conversation with Poole was tough.
“As your first day on the job, you don’t love calling a guy and telling him he’d been traded,” Dunleavy said. “I told him, ‘I think this is a really great opportunity for you.’ With our backcourt set with Steph and Klay, I think Jordan, at his age (24), what he can do with the basketball on the offensive end, I think he needs a little bit of room just to run free and play. And I don’t know that we could’ve completely provided that for him over the next few years.
“So, talking with Jordan about it, I think there was some sense of surprise on his end. But at the same time, I think once things settled in, I think he realizes it’s a great opportunity for him. That makes me feel better, trading him to a place where I think he has that, as opposed to someplace maybe where a guy wouldn’t want to go … Jordan’s a smart kid, I think he gets it. I think bright things are ahead for him.”
Poole is set to become the face of the Washington Wizards’ rebuilding after trading away their stars Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis.
Steve Kerr Says Warriors Hated Chris Paul
Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted in an interview with ESPN’s Sports Center that the whole team hated Chris Paul after facing him thrice in the Western Conference Playoffs. That is bound to change now that they have Paul for at least the following season.
“We’ve all hated him because we were competing, and he was so good. And now that’s our guy, and we love him,” Kerr said.
The Warriors acquired Paul by unloading Poole’s hefty contract and attaching a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick. They also shipped Ryan Rollins, a 2027 second-round pick and cash considerations to the Wizards for the 12-time NBA All-Star point guard.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. Talks Succession from Bob Myers
Dunleavy Jr. told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami that it was a relatively more straightforward transition for him from Bob Myers because of his familiarity with his work and the organization.
“I think if I would’ve taken this opportunity right out of my playing career, hadn’t had the experience I’ve had the last few years, it may be a little bit of figuring things out,” Dunleavy said. “And I still have that as we go. But being around our group, I’m comfortable understanding the nuances of this job. I think I have a pretty good idea of it. I feel good about the opportunity. It’s something that, as my playing career wound down, I didn’t really necessarily want to do coaching, I didn’t really necessarily want to get into the media side … but I just wanted to stay in the game. Was passionate about the game. This has ended up being something I really love and I’m happy about it.”
Dunleavy Jr. joined the Warriors organization in 2018 as a pro scout. A year later, he was promoted to assistant general manager, laying the foundation of the succession from Myers.