The Golden State Warriors started the offseason with a bang, trading guard Jordan Poole, 2022 second-round pick Ryan Rollins and two future draft picks to the Washington Wizards in exchange for 38-year-old veteran point guard Chris Paul.
Poole, 24, averaged 20.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists last season in 82 games (43 starts) and was once considered to be a member of the team’s core. After he was on the receiving end of a preseason punch from star center Draymond Green, though, trade rumors began and eventually, the rumors became a reality.
In a June 27 interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic, two of Golden State’s superstars, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, spoke on the record for the first time about the trade, and both made it clear they were glad to have a player like Paul on board.
Curry Says Dubs Aren’t Worried About Paul’s Age
The Warriors didn’t get any younger in the trade, but they did add loads of postseason experience. Paul has started all 149 playoff games he has appeared in — he has never won an NBA championship — and Curry thinks that experience will only help the Warriors win their fifth title since 2015.
“The business is crazy,” Curry told Slater when asked about the Poole-Paul trade. “We all know that. If you asked us six months ago if this was something that could happen, the answer probably would’ve been no just based on where we were. Then you get to the summer and are trying to find ways to get better and put yourself in a position to chase another championship. Every team that CP has been on gets better. That’s the most consistent thing about him, and who he is and what he brings to the team. Everybody’s going to talk about the age. It’s on us to put that all together and figure out how all the pieces work.”
The Warriors got Poole’s four-year, $128 million extension off the books before having to pay any of it, which was another likely motivator for moving him.
Curry: ‘Hate Losing JP,’ But CP3 Can Help Us Win Now
Curry was quick to praise Poole, but he also made a point to note he felt having a veteran like Paul will give the Dubs a better chance of winning another title now.
“You hate losing JP. I know it’s not all the way official yet. So I don’t want to talk too much before it is. But that’s the tough part of the business, seeing a young guy come into his own (and then get traded). It’s a great opportunity for him. It’s just you get to know someone like that, build a friendship, build a bond. It’s tough to see him go. But, you know, we’re trying to win next year and CP can help us do that.”
That’s a pretty telling statement. A 12-time All-Star, Paul posted 13.9 points, 8.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 59 games last season, and he should certainly help open things up for the Dubs’ offense. Whether the team made a mistake by dealing Poole remains to be seen, but it won’t matter to Curry and company if they manage to win another championship.