Chris Paul’s pursuit of an NBA championship is taking him to the Golden State Warriors, after they agreed to the framework of a trade on Thursday that will send Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The trade also includes a package of draft capital, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized and approved by the NBA.
ESPN first reported the agreement was struck by the teams.
The Wizards agreed to acquire Paul from Phoenix last week, in the deal that sent Bradley Beal from Washington to the Suns.
Paul had two of his title-hope seasons thwarted by the Warriors. In 2018, Paul and the Houston Rockets had a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference finals before he got hurt, missed the final two games and Golden State prevailed — on the way to the NBA title.
And in 2019, the Warriors beat Paul and the Rockets again, that time in the West semifinals before ultimately falling to Toronto in the NBA Finals.
The move could also provide the Warriors with financial flexibility in future seasons. Poole is about to begin a four-year, $128 million deal. Paul is due about $31 million this coming season and has nothing guaranteed after that.
It may usher in something totally new and different for Paul — a bench role.
He has appeared in 1,214 regular-season games and another 149 in the playoffs, and has started every single one of them. But it obviously seems unlikely that he would supplant guards Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson in Golden State’s starting lineup.
So, at 38 years old and about to enter his 19th NBA season, Paul could find himself in a new position. But there is an obvious tradeoff, since the Warriors will almost certainly be considered a title-contender going into next season after winning four championships in the last decade — and Paul has never gotten his championship. He went to the NBA Finals with Phoenix in 2021, but the Suns blew a 2-0 series lead and lost to Milwaukee in six games.
The 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists this past season for Phoenix.
Poole, who turned 24 earlier this week, joins a Washington team now fully in the midst of a complete rebuild. He averaged 20.4 points this past season, one that began with Golden State veteran Draymond Green punching Poole at practice during training camp before taking a brief leave of absence from the team.
Green is set to become a free agent, one that the Warriors want to retain.
Golden State Warriors swap Jordan Poole for Chris Paul in stunning trade
The Golden State Warriors are trading Jordan Poole and future assets to the Washington Wizards for point guard Chris Paul, league sources confirmed to this news organization Thursday afternoon just hours before the 2023 NBA Draft is set to take place.
Mike Dunleavy Jr., in his first big move as the Warriors’ general manager, sent 24-year-old Poole, rookie Ryan Rollins, a protected 2030 first-round pick and a 2027 second-round pick to the Wizards in exchange for Paul, an 11-time All-Star.
Paul’s acquisition is a sign that the Warriors are going all-in on fielding a veteran team to contend for a title next season, while also giving Golden State more financial flexibility next summer. It also leaves the Warriors an additional roster spot to sign a free agent this offseason, but they will be limited to a veteran minimum contract.
The trade with the Washington Wizards happened hours before the 2023 NBA Draft
The Phoenix Suns agreed to trade Paul to Washington days ago in a package that netted them All-NBA guard Bradley Beal. He has two years left on his contract, and his 2024-25 salary of $30 million is not guaranteed, giving the Warriors the option to wash their hands of Paul next summer if this marriage doesn’t work out in his first season. He will make $30.8 million next season, a figure that reportedly will become fully guaranteed.
A main concern regarding Paul, who turned 38 in May, is his health. The future Hall of Famer was limited to 59 regular-season games last season due to injury and didn’t play in Phoenix’s final four playoff games after straining his hamstring.
The Warriors’ training staff, led by Rick Celebrini, has had success improving the health of oft-injured players such as Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II.