As the Golden State Warriors’ primary basketball decision-maker in his first season, Mike Dunleavy Jr. traded homegrown player Jordan Poole for future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. The Warriors now have a better chance of capturing their fifth championship in 10 seasons, therefore it’s a wise decision.
Paul gives the Warriors a dependable offensive tool that gives Golden State the ideal ballhandler for changes of pace behind Stephen Curry. He also offers intangibles that his partner guard Poole does not, such as leadership.
“Chris improves teams wherever he goes. In a recent interview with Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game, former NBA player Matt Barnes noted, “He just makes the game simple.
In the long run, this transaction is detrimental to Golden State. Poole is a microwave on offense and a talent overload. Paul, 38, who has missed four of his last six postseason runs due to injury, was acquired in a trade for a 24-year-old who has the potential to develop into an All-Star.
However, the long term doesn’t matter now. All that matters is next season and maximizing the championship window of 35-year-old Curry, a once-in-a-generation superstar. CP3 will undoubtedly be a more capable and productive player in 2023-24 than Poole was this past season.
Paul averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc for the Suns last season. Meanwhile, Poole averaged 20.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc. Although Paul possesses a special skill set that is unparalleled on this team, he is a superior scorer than he is.
The disparity between Paul’s meticulous, surgical attacks and decision-making and Golden State’s run-and-gun strategy is frequently highlighted by pundits. But Paul’s approach should benefit the Warriors when employed sparingly.
Golden State won’t change its essence, but running pick-and-rolls and occasionally slowing down its offensive game aren’t always terrible ideas. Last season, the Warriors’ second unit had a terrible time, largely because of bad shot selection and turnovers. With Paul, who excels at involving teammates in the attack, that will quickly alter.
Warriors player Draymond Green recently noted on Paul George’s podcast, “Our team last year didn’t have a variety in ways it could score, and I think CP adds another thing to the menu.”
Golden State is unmistakably assuming a risk. It would be disastrous if Paul were to experience another breakdown this year and be unable to complete another playoff run. But Rick Celebrini, the Warriors’ director of performance and sports medicine, has the utmost confidence from the team and owner Joe Lacob.
With the exception of the 2019 NBA Finals, where Golden State’s roster disintegrated due to the season-ending injuries suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the team has had great success keeping its players healthy.
Paul is a significant upgrade over Poole in the near future if Golden State can keep him healthy.