A blockbuster trade went down Thursday afternoon, just hours before the 2023 NBA Draft was set to take place between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.
- Point Guard Chris Paul
Warriors Grade: B+
The Warriors were able to offload Poole’s expensive contract, which is set to expire in 2027, in return for a cheaper and significantly shorter contract with Paul.
Moving on from Draymond Green or Poole always seemed to be a plan, as the dust never seemed to fully settle from the training camp scuffle. Most had expected the veteran Green to be moved, although, after a disappointing playoff run, it turned out to be the latter in Poole.
The assumption is the Warriors will now re-sign Green while abandoning preparations for the future and look to continue contending for NBA titles.
Wizards Grade: B
The rebuild continues in DC; Poole is locked up until 2027 and has a fresh start as the primary ball handler and scorer.
Acquiring youth and draft picks is exactly what the plan is, and the Wizards have done just that here. Unlike the Bradley Beal deal, they were able to acquire a first-round pick, albeit protected, and in 2030, it’s still a first-rounder.
As the league pivots to size, the Warriors seem to have other plans as they’ve gotten significantly older and slower. There is a very noticeable lack of size on this roster which makes me believe the Warriors are not finished making moves.
Keep the Current Roster
First order of business is to re-sign forward Green. With this move, the Warriors would have a very experienced roster, although lack size. In an ever-changing landscape, where guards are 6’6 plus, this would be a very bold strategy. Now this doesn’t remove the possibility of making trades at the deadline, which would be necessary if this extremely small ball lineup is not successful.
Trade Klay Thompson
Most fans won’t like this idea, although the time may be coming. Thursday evening, the Warriors drafted guard Brandin Podziemski, a 6’5 sharpshooter out of Santa Clara. Sound familiar? Podziemski has a very similar style of build and game to current Warriors guard Klay Thompson.
The addition of Paul can allow the Warriors to explore a new lineup, where Paul is the lead facilitator and Stephen Curry is playing off-ball as a spot-up shooter.
The aging and expensive Thompson has declined and become very injury prone recently. Players like Green and Andrew Wiggins, although not as polished offensively, provide size and availability for cheaper, so I believe a potential trade is not out of the question as this roster desperately needs size.
The Wizards have now moved on from Beal and Kristaps Porzingis in their project of overhauling the roster. They have their new centerpiece in Poole and will now look to build around him for the foreseeable future.
It’s fair to say we shouldn’t expect much winning from this team for quite a while, as the plan will be to trade away whichever value is on the roster to acquire draft picks for the future.
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